A North Carolina town will continue with its annual Christmas parade, despite state and local health officials asking them to cancel because of the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Post reports.
Youngsville, a town some 20 miles northeast of Raleigh, is planning to host a mile-long parade with up to 300 people watching for Saturday.” The event would violate Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order limiting crowds.
The town has faced repeated warnings from the Franklin County Health Department to cancel its Christmas parade, as COVID-19 cases skyrocket it will “promote far more than Christmas spirit.”
The town board of commissioners reiterated Thursday night that it will hold its Parade Saturday as scheduled. They will incorporate “a variety of COVID-19 mitigation measures,” and the decision came after “overwhelming support from the community to continue.”
Town Manager Phil Cordeiro On Wednesday thanked county officials for their concern but said Youngsville is “confident we can safely hold our event,” the report said.
Cordeiro emailed county officials Wednesday that the parade falls under the same First Amendment exemption that allowed Raleigh protests earlier this year. He also also argued that the event was a permitted religious service because it starts in the parking lot of a church.
“It’s just been a really bad year and we’re trying to do something to lighten people’s spirits and give them a little hope,” Mayor Fonzie Flowers told the newspaper.