The decision to cancel the parade was based on North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s September 30th announcement moving North Carolina into Phase 3. Phase 3 continues to limit outdoor gatherings to 50 people and provides capacity limits for outdoor spaces. The uncertainty of COVID-19 conditions and public safety protocols in effect at the time of the parade drove the decision.
There are thousands of people in the parade and as many as 20,000 have come to watch in previous years, so it’s just not responsible to move forward in the midst of a public health crisis.
The Asheville Downtown Association took over production of the Asheville Holiday Parade in 2008. The parade first marched, danced and rolled through downtown Asheville in 1946, meaning 2020 would have marked the 74th annual parade.
The Asheville Downtown Association is planning to host free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Saturday, November 21 at Rabbit Rabbit in downtown Asheville. Families will register for a time slot to maintain social distancing, and children and families will also remain distanced from Santa and Mrs. Claus for photos.
The Asheville Downtown Association will also continue to host its annual Downtown Holiday Windows Contest. More information on both of the above opportunities to come.