SPRUCE PINE — The Spruce Pine Christmas Parade has been canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.
The parade, which is put on by the Spruce Pine Kiwanis Club, is usually held the Saturday following Thanksgiving.
Spruce Pine Kiwanis Club President Chris Helms said it was a tough decision but one that was made with the health of Mitchell County citizens in mind.
“We as a club have decided not to have the parade this year due to the circumstances of COVID,” he said. “We’re very disappointed, but, our priority, first and foremost, is the health and safety of the citizens of Mitchell County.”
Helms noted the event would likely draw crowds of people both on the sidelines and participating in the parade and said the club as a whole didn’t believe they would be able to implement proper social distancing measures.
“We just thought it was going to be hard to enforce social distancing with how everyone tends to pack in shoulder-to-shoulder,” he said.
Helms reiterated the weight of the decision, but said next year they will try to make it the best parade yet.
“I hope people can understand that it was a very difficult decision to make,” Helms said. “Hopefully we can come back with a bigger, better one next year.”