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Downtown Billings Holiday Parade canceled

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Posted at 5:06 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 19:06:43-04

The Downtown Billings Holiday Parade has been canceled.

The parade's sponsor, the Downtown Billings Alliance, announced Wednesday that a proposal to host a drive-by event Nov. 27, allowing viewers to drive through and observe stationary floats, was rejected by RiverStone Health out of concerns of an increase in pedestrian traffic downtown.

This year's parade would have been the 36th annual in downtown Billings.

Read the full news release from the DBA below:

Billings, MT: The Downtown Billings Alliance (DBA) is sad to announce that the 36th Annual Downtown Billings Holiday Parade has been cancelled. Last week prior to publicly announcing their 2020 plans for the 36th Annual Holiday Parade, the DBA briefed Yellowstone County Health Office on their 2020 version of the parade. The DBA had made 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. After reviewing the DBA’s 2020 parade plans, the County Health Office still had a lot of concerns about the increase in pedestrian traffic the event would likely draw to downtown’s streets, shops, and restaurants all at one time. Unfortunately, Yellowstone County Health has deemed the parade in violation of their existing orders. A representative at Yellowstone County Health shared 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 do not drop.

The DBA’s CEO, Katy Easton adds “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.”

The DBA wants the community to know that while the parade is not happening, the downtown businesses are open and following the county health guidelines and state mask mandates. The shops and restaurants look forward to seeing you this holiday season and encourage you to come visit downtown to view all the holiday decorations.