Dowagiac Christmas parade canceled

DOWAGIAC — A beloved holiday tradition has become the newest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dowagiac’s 30th annual Candlelight Christmas Parade, which was planned to be hosted as a reverse parade on Friday, Dec. 4 at Southwestern Michigan College, has been canceled.

While the event was going to be staged as a reverse parade, with spectators driving past the lighted units within the safety of their own vehicles, new mandates issued Sunday by the state of Michigan do not enable the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce to meet requirements for social distancing, chamber members announced Tuesday.

Committee members on Monday reassessed the parade’s needs for staging the event, as well as the number of people, including volunteers, security, traffic control and parade unit participants, that would be on site that night. As a result, it was determined there is not enough space within the college’s Cherry Grove parking lot to adhere to the mandate.

Corporate sponsors and parade units were notified of the decision Tuesday afternoon.

Due to the pandemic, this is the sixth event the organization has had to cancel.

Chamber officials said the health and safety of the public, the business community and volunteers have been paramount as they have made these decisions.

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