Tis the season for holiday magic and a little bit of creative thinking for Cedartown officials. With earlier City-sponsored special events put on hold this year due to COVID-19, officials were determined to think out of the gift box concerning the annual Christmas parade and come up with a safe solution.
As an annual event where thousands of residents and out-of-town guests gather along a one-mile long parade route, requiring and enforcing onlookers to socially distance themselves from others would be next to impossible.
“The parade has always been a huge draw for residents. There’s no way to know what these next few weeks will bring as far as the number of local COVID-19 cases and continuing or new state-mandated guidelines,” said Cedartown City Manager Edward Guzman. “As a governing entity, we are required to follow these guidelines, and so the typical parade had to be modified.”
The results of that modification resulted in the idea of a “reverse parade.” This is an event where floats and displays are stationary and spaced apart, and those wishing for a dose of seasonal merriment can simply drive-through and enjoy it from the safety of their vehicle.
The event, slated for Dec. 5 from 6 until 8 p.m., will be set up inside the Polk County Fairgrounds, ensuring plenty of space for displays and allowing vehicles a wide loop of roadway to take in the twinkling lights and Christmas decorations.
Santa, of course, has been made aware of the changes and he has agreed to make changes to his toy production schedule and attend the event.
The theme for this year’s event is “Let It Snow.” Churches, businesses, organizations and residents wishing to participate this year are asked to decorate according to the theme. Prize money up to $500 will be awarded.
Categories and prizes include: church division (first place $500, second place $300 and third place $200); open division (first place $500, second place $300 and third place $200) and an overall winner will be awarded $500.
Entrants must provide their own power (if needed). Electrical access will not be available at the fairgrounds.
Floats are of course welcome to participate, but so are displays and live nativities. For more information on the parade, visit www.cedartowngeorgia.gov
Applications and rules are also available on the City’s website. The deadline to enter the event is Tuesday, December 1 at 5 p.m. There is no entry fee and the event is free.