The Aberdeen Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance on Monday closing local roads for the town’s annual Christmas parade, but the fate of this year’s merry procession is still uncertain.
Adam Crocker, director of the town’s Parks and Recreation department, told commissioners that the parade may attract more spectators than normal if similar events are canceled in Southern Pines and Pinehurst because of the coronavirus pandemic. The larger turnout, he said, could make it difficult to enforce social distancing requirements.
“If we’re the only Christmas parade in the area, we may have a hard time spreading out spectators,” Crocker said.
Mayor Robbie Farrell suggested that the town wait to see if the other municipalities decide to proceed with their Christmas parades. He asked Crocker to monitor the situation and “find out what surrounding communities are doing.”
“If we do this, we’ve got to make sure that we’re not singled out for having a parade and having people not 6 feet apart,” Farrell said. “I hope we can have it; I hope we can go forward with it. It’s always something to look forward to, but we’re in unusual times.”
Commissioner Teressa Beavers noted that other events held by the town since the start of the pandemic “have been handled well and coordinated.”
“We’ve used caution and continue (to do) so,” Beavers said. “I hope we will have a Christmas parade for the children, but we understand the trying times we’re in as well.”