The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, the organizers of the Lakeland Christmas Parade, and the City of Lakeland have made a decision to cancel the 2020 Lakeland Christmas Parade due to the complications of COVID-19. The organizing committee has obvious concerns regarding the pandemic and the unknowns of what impacts the virus may have going forward.
Bob Donahay, Director of City of Lakeland’s Parks & Recreation, said, “Usually at this time the organizing committee is busy reviewing applications for Christmas Parade participants. Most years, we have over 100 applications going into September and right now we have 10 applicants and no marching bands.” He added, “It is important that we notify the public and those few parade participants that completed applications of the decision to cancel the event before they start spending significant funds on floats, decorations, and other parade accommodations.”
City Manager Tony Delgado said, “This year would have marked the 40th year of the Lakeland Christmas Parade. The parade usually kicks-off the holiday season in Lakeland and it is unfortunate that this hallmark event has been cancelled. As you can imagine, it is extremely difficult to plan for a large-scale event during a global health crisis.” He added, “Our hope is this all goes away and we can get back to the life we all enjoyed before the coronavirus.”
The City of Lakeland encourages the public to follow the CDC recommendations for social distancing and hygiene. The City of Lakeland has developed a dedicated webpage with a number of resources to help the community stay informed. You can find this site at www.lakelandgov.net/covid19.
View the blog at http://www.lakelandgov.net/christmasparadecancelled.