DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Celebrating the holidays looks a bit different this year. While many events are going virtual, others are being canceled altogether.
This year was supposed to be Dodge City’s 19th annual Christmas Parade of Lights. But after struggling with the decision, the parade committee decided this year’s parade will look a bit dimmer and won’t take place.
“It’s disappointing because we wanted, we really wanted something for local people to have,” said Jerri Whitley, Dodge City’s Christmas Parade of Lights Committee Organizer.
The decision was not taken lightly and the committee noted several reasons the show could not go on.
However, the main factor was due to the lack of float entries.
Numerous businesses and organizations that normally participate opted out due to the ongoing resource and financial impacts of the pandemic.
“You know, they were struggling with staffing, with resources and that kind of thing and you know they just weren’t comfortable and weren’t in the place to participate this year, and we understood that,” said Whitley.
This comes after the committee designed a unique reverse parade format that allowed people to stay safely in their cars and drive-by stationery floats.
For community members, the news came with sadness but understanding.
“It’s been hard and challenging but everyone has adapted,” said Christina Million, Dodge City Community Member.
But although the parade is canceled the city will still hold other holiday events such as the Mayor’s Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony, a Christmas Cheer Service Project, the Letters to Santa Drop-Off, as well as other parties, contests, and giveaways.
“We hope that people remember you know, love and joy, and remember what the season’s all about,” said Whitley.
Officials are already looking toward next year’s parade saying, it will be the best one yet.