EAST TEXAS (KETK) – Palestine and Lufkin on Wednesday became the latest East Texas cities to cancel their Christmas parades this year.
“Due to the continuing rise in COVID cases and our hospital nearing capacity before the holiday season begins, I have chosen to close certain group events that have been sponsored by the city,” Palestine Mayor and Emergency Manager Steve Presley said.
Health officials are advising people to avoid crowds because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Presley said making the decision to cancel the Dec. 5 parade was difficult because many residents enjoy attending it.
“In an effort to encourage the Christmas spirit,” the city is hosting a Christmas Light Tour and decorating contest for homes and businesses, the announcement said.
Those who want to enter the contest, should complete an entry form at www.visitpalestine.com/f/60. Those who don’t want to be in the contest but have a property listed on the light tour, should send their address to email@example.com or call 903-723-3526.
Lights will be judged on Dec. 12. To get a list of all places on the light tour, download the Visit Palestine, Tx app in Google Play or Apple Store and choose Tours at the top right and then Christmas Light Tour.
Lufkin’s “A Hometown Christmas” Parade set for Dec. 7 was also canceled.
The city had originally said that it would have a “reverse parade” with parade entries parked on the sides of streets and having people drive by.
On Wednesday organizers canceled the event citing of lack of entries.