25th Annual Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade could attract thousands despite COVID-19 concerns

Charleston County News

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – The Town of Mount Pleasant is still planning to host their 25th annual Christmas parade. With the potential for thousands of attendees, Mayor Will Haynie has concerns about safety.

“My concern is putting thousands of people on 4-foot wide sidewalks in the middle of a Pandemic. I was not against a parade — I was against that type of parade,” says Haynie.

Mount Pleasant Council decided on the parade in a 7-2 vote to move forward with the parade about a month ago. Haynie believes the COVID-19 Pandemic sometimes requires plans to pivot.

Councilmember Gary Santos is one of the parade’s organizers. He believes they’ve done everything they can to ensure safety during the event.

“There’s a lot of things we can do to socially distance in the parade, we don’t have to have 100 floats like we usually do, going down Coleman Boulevard you have a median in the middle so 2 lanes separating on you from the citizens,” says Santos.

Local healthcare officials are predicting a spike in COVID-19 cases between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Haynie says he’s seen up to 30,000 people attend parades in the past and believes it will be extremely difficult for that many people to socially distance.

However, he has a plan for a different kind of parade that could cut down on that concern.

“I think something like the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park is doable. I think we could have the floats sitting still and people riding through in the safety of their own cars,” he says.

James Island County Park’s Holiday Festival of Lights

Haynie says the only way for this pivot to happen would be if council decided to call a special meeting and vote on the new plan. As of now, the “normal” parade is still set to take place on December 13th.

“It’s a big part of the town, it’s a chance for the kids to get out and put a smile on their face, let them see Santa Claus and enjoy themselves,” says Santos.

For more details on the parade, click here.

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