Last year Elvis Presley sang “Blue Christmas” and Santa waved and “Ho-ho-hoed” down West Main Street as part of Sylva’s annual Christmas Parade. COVID-19 will keep the jolly old elf at the North Pole and Elvis on another astral plane this year, as the town board last Thursday decided to cancel the annual event.
“I would say that having our traditional Christmas Parade is not good for public health,” board member Ben Guiney said. “There is not going to be any changes (in the COVID-19 situation), there is not going to be a vaccine. Everybody across the country is expecting a big spike.”
“I am all about doing whatever we can to stop the spread of coronavirus,” said board member David Nestler, who earlier in the meeting announced he was suffering from COVID-19. “We could have a socially distanced lighting of the tree, something like that, but yeah, if you want a motion to cancel the parade I’ll be glad to make it.”
“We’re going to hit the flu season with the COVID season and I don’t look for things to get better,” Barbara Hamilton said. “I know the public really loves it, and I do too. I love for our town to have the Christmas Parade, but I just don’t see how we can safely do it.”
“It makes me sad that we are taking trick-or-treating away from our kids and the Christmas Parade, the holiday events they are used to having, but at the same time I understand the concerns,” board member Mary Gelbaugh said.
Treat Street, when young ghosts and goblins visit downtown Sylva on Halloween, has officially been canceled due to the COVID situation.
“This was a mutual decision between us as the Main Street Sylva directors and the town manager and his management team,” said Kelly Donaldson of Main