Mount Pleasant, S.C. (WCBD) – The Town of Mount Pleasant is moving forward with Christmas parade plans after state leaders gave the green light. But now, town leaders are trying to figure out how to plan a safe event for thousands of people in a COVID-19 world.
“It’s two months out, we don’t know what COVID-19 numbers will look like between now and then, but right now it’s a-go and it’s been approved,” says Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie.
The South Carolina Department of Commerce and Governor’s office are laying down strict guidelines that must be followed for participants and onlookers.
“We understand what is required: masks, social distancing, not congregating in large groups, and the application represents that we will see those are enforced,” says Mayor Haynie.
Details behind enforcement of the guidelines are still being worked through. An additional safety requirement will limit the amount of people gathered in an acre along the parade route.
Mayor Haynie says onlookers play a role in keeping everyone safe.
“I hope that people who do go will be very, very wary of that,” says Mayor Haynie. “That having ten thousand people or more on very narrow sidewalks in a COVID-19 environment calls for extreme caution.”
For Councilman Gary Santos, the parade is about more than just floats traveling down Coleman Boulevard.
“The kids, you know. To see Santa Claus and to see the marching bands and all that, you know I’m just a sucker for that,” says Councilman Santos. “I like trying to do things for the youth of our community.”
Leaders are cautiously optimistic COVID-19 numbers will remain steady, and guidelines will be followed at the parade.
“I’ve got faith in the citizens of our town and I know they want to do the right thing and I know they will do the right thing and I am encouraged and that’s why I think this is going to be a great parade,” says Councilman Santos.
For Santos and Haynie both, safety will be the number one priority with Santa a close second.
“You know we want to make sure everybody is safe and I think everybody will be and I think it’s going to be a really good parade,” says Councilman Santos.
The town’s Christmas parade is set to take place on December 13th with fireworks kicking off the evening’s events at 5:30 p.m.