We are more than sad to announce that the 36th Annual Downtown Billings Holiday Parade is cancelled. Last week we briefed Yellowstone County Health Office on our 2020 version of the parade. We had plans to host a drive-by event where the community would be invited on the evening of Friday, November 27th to drive a designated route through downtown Billings, all while viewing stationary holiday parade floats, painted windows, and the downtown holiday decorations from the warmth and safety of their vehicles.
Unfortunately, Yellowstone County Health has deemed the parade in violation of their existing orders after reviewing the plans. They ultimately had understandable concerns about the increase in pedestrian traffic the event would likely draw to our downtown’s streets, shops, and restaurants all at one time. A representative at Yellowstone County Health shared with us that the concerning and growing COVID case numbers are in fact causing a strain on our local health care providers, and that our local businesses are at risk of having to navigate even stricter regulations should the numbers not drop.
“We are disappointed to have to cancel the holiday parade, we knew it was a possibility. As a team we brainstormed extensively on how to bring the parade safely to our community, but in the end we fully support the County Health Office’s efforts to try to flatten and slow our County’s COVID-19 numbers. We share their concern, and we are very committed to not hosting large, crowd drawing events that could put our small business community and healthcare providers at higher risk.” adds Our CEO, Katy Easton.
And while the parade is not happening, the downtown businesses are open and the shops and restaurants look forward to seeing you this holiday season. We’ll be sharing other fun and unique holiday happenings over the next couple of months and be on the look out, our new downtown Holiday decorations will still be going up the week of Thanksgiving as scheduled.
For all the details on the Yellowstone County Health Office guidelines visit: covid.riverstonehealth.org