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UPDATE: Belpre Holiday Lights Parade canceled

Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 12:28 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2020 at 6:12 PM EST
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BELPRE, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE: 11/18/20 6;15 P.M.

Organizers on Thursday announced the cancellation of this year’s Belpre Holiday Lights parade because of concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Current announcements restricting gatherings as well as organizers’ concerns for the safety of all participants make this difficult decision necessary,” Belpre Lions Club President Bobette Grimm said.

The Lions Club had partnered with several other groups in an effort to turn the annual event into a “reverse” parade in which participants would have remained stationary, allowing people to participate by driving by in their cars.

Other groups involved in planning the event include the Belpre Holiday Lights Committee, GFWC Belpre Woman’s Club, Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, and the city of Belpre.

Organizers plan to bring the parade to the community in its traditional form in 2021 if health conditions allow it, Grimm said.

ORIGINAL STORY:

COVID-19 may have put a damper on many people’s plans for the holidays, but organizers of the Belpre Holiday Lights Parade are determined to have the annual event this year, though it will take place with a twist.

They are calling it a “reverse parade,” meaning spectators, not parade participants, will be the ones on the move.

In other words, the event scheduled for 6 .m. Nov. 28 will function like a drive-thru parade of sorts.

Spectators will enter the parade area from Washington Boulevard in Belpre at the entrance to Belpre High school off Stone Road.

“The community has supported this parade for probably 30 years," Karen Waller, executive director of the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, said. "It’s a tradition here. It was the first lighted parade in the area, to our understanding, and it gives children, families a chance to get together and kick off the holiday season.”

Waller emphasized that this is a time to highlight the area’s small businesses.

If you want to participate as a display or stationary float, applications are due by Nov. 18. They can be picked up at the city hall, 715 Park Drive, and at the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce office at 713 Park Drive. They can also be found online at belprechamber.com under the “Community Tab.” You can also ask for an application sending an email to info@belprechamber.com.

To get more information, call 304-488-8414 or 304-488-7713.

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