Due to the continuous rise in COVID-19 cases in Coweta, the city of Newnan has decided to cancel the traditional Christmas parade this year. Careful thought and consultation with local and regional public health experts was put into consideration before making this difficult decision. The total Coweta COVID-19 cases rose to 2,699 as of Wednesday, October 7, as reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health. The current case rate per 100,000 Cowetans is 1,775.
There are thousands of people who attend this parade every year to celebrate the holiday season and to get into the Christmas spirit. Hasco Craver, the Assistant City Manager for the city of Newnan, stated that “the health and well-being of staff, volunteers, participants, and supporters is our top priority.” Craver also mentioned that there would be an extreme decrease in the amount of participants due to the social distancing protocols and potential risk of attaining the virus. These protocols make it difficult to gather in groups, practice routines prior to performance, decorate floats, and more.
The Christmas parade takes place annually in downtown Newnan on the square. People gather from all over the county to experience this special event. This parade gives people a chance to support small local businesses and experience the lighting of the Christmas tree. This symbolizes the kick-off of the holiday season. One of the biggest highlights of the night includes the arrival of Santa Claus. Kids look forward to meeting and giving their Christmas list to Santa during this time. It is a magical moment for both parents and kids. Most of all, this parade provides people of all ages with memories that will last a lifetime.
The city of Newnan is currently trying to formulate a plan to hold an alternative event that will allow the community to enjoy the holiday season in a responsible way while still enforcing the guidelines issued by the CDC. Citizens are hoping this event will occur in place of the deeply missed traditional Christmas parade.