City of Charleston’s Christmas parade will not happen this year due to COVID-19

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of Charleston has canceled its Christmas parade and boat parade this year due to COVID-19.

City leaders say additional events for the holidays are also being impacted or canceled due to the virus and the recent uptick in cases. You can find a list of changes below.

City of Charleston holiday event changes:

From December 5, 2020 through December 20, the Charleston Holiday Market in Marion Square will be held Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Sunday, December 6, a virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on the City of Charleston Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/CityCharleston.

On Sunday, December 13, Chanukah in the Square, which is normally held in Marion Square, will take place in a drive-in format at The Bend on Azalea Drive in North Charleston.

In a meeting Monday afternoon, city officials decided it’s in the best interest of the public to cancel large scale holiday celebrations like the city’s annual Christmas parade.

Leaders say while it was a hard decision to make, they believe it is the best way to keep everyone safe. People say they have mixed feelings on the decision.

“I don’t think so, I think people should stay in their homes and stay out of public with a bunch of other people,” said Eleanor Coronado-McDermott.

And while some agree with the decision, not everyone is on board with the approved changes.

“It just takes the spirit away from people I guess because they have nothing else to look forward to, I guess they have to come up with their own Christmas,” says Mark Smalls.

Those who oppose the city’s decision to cancel large scale events believe they should go on in a safer manner.

“I think we’ve all suffered a lot this year and we should have some joy and enjoy Christmas time and bring families together,” says Hannah Zlatkiss.

Those who say the parade shouldn’t happen say it would be nearly impossible to put it on safely for those in the parade and there to watch.

“We’ve been recommended to social distance and it’s hard to be social distanced in you’re in a parade or around a bunch of people,” says Coronado-McDermott.

Both the holiday and boat parades will be canceled but other events will move forward including the holiday market held at Marion Square.

“It’s a great way to be able to support a lot of local businesses in a safe manner,” says Harrison Chapman who serves as Manager of the Charleston Farmers Market and Holiday Market for the City of Charleston.

Leaders say the market will have all the required safety measures in place including hand sanitizers and mask mandates.

“We are able to manage the crowd size and we have appropriate enforcement in place,” says Chapman.

And while this year’s normal parade will not happen, some hope alternatives like a virtual parade could take its place.

“I think that if the city wanted to form a parade that people could watch from their homes with their families, I think that would be really nice,” says Coronado-McDermott.

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