2020 Festival of Lights Parade canceled

Festival of Lights parade
Festival of Lights parade(KOTA)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 12:10 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The 2020 Festival of Lights Parade won’t be happening.

On Friday, Rapid City announced the annual parade will be canceled to ensure the public’s safety. Connie Olson, Steering Committee Chair said safety and well-being were top of mind when making the decision.

“The safety and well-being of our community members is always our number one priority. If we can’t, in good faith, ensure that our participants, staff, and spectators will be safe, that’s a problem,” said Olson. ”If there was a way that we could have offered this event and done it in a safe way, we certainly would have, but we just did not think that was a reality.”

Organizers say the decision to cancel was not taken lightly--the committee, sponsors, and Rapid City Police all weighed in, and came to the conclusion that it was in the public’s best interest for the parade to be canceled.

The Festival of Lights Parade has had several float entries pull out from the parade in recent days. “Some of the groups shared they were uncomfortable gathering to work on their floats while others stated they weren’t able to find volunteers to help at all,” said Olson.

Those who have registered and paid to enter a float in this year’s parade will be reimbursed their entry fee or allowed to roll it over to next year’s event. KEVN Black Hills Fox plans to air a previous year’s parade on November 29, 2020.

The parade has only been canceled once before this year due to a blizzard.

The Holiday Celebration and Winter Market at Main Street Square scheduled for 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28.

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