The holiday season is just around the corner and the Richmond Parks and Recreation Department is working on how to host signature events during the pandemic.
Specifically, the Christmas Parade.
Erin Moore, the department's director of administration and recreation, went before the Richmond City Commission on Tuesday and presented several options during the morning workshop meeting for the annual Christmas Parade.
The three choices presented to the commission with the following options: hosting an event with no modifications, a “reverse parade,” or canceling the event altogether.
City Manager Rob Minerich stated, while the city had time to think about what to do, it would be a hard decision whatever they chose, and he asked the city to carefully consider the alternatives proposed.
“It is going to be hard as a city to authorize people to come together on Main Street,” he said. “It is unfortunate, no doubt.”
Mayor Robert Blythe chimed-in first and expressed his preference for the reverse parade option, in which floats would be stationary on a road, and onlookers would drive by in their cars.
Commissioner Jason Morgan said he liked the idea of the reverse parade, but questioned the idea of a downtown-wide decoration.
He stated it could encourage an all-encompassing activity in lieu of a standard parade, such as decorating homes and businesses.
“...We could do decoration awards for possible businesses and possibly would encourage people to visit local businesses,” he said.
Moore liked the idea, and added city neighborhoods could be encouraged to decorate as well, with residents driving through areas to see lights.
Commissioner Ed McDaniel expressed his support, and mentioned how the community seemed to enjoy the teacher parades during the onset COVID-19 when schools were closed.
“That was a big hit and everyone really enjoyed that,” he said.
With the general consensus seeming to favor a reverse parade, Moore said the parks department would work on it.
“It is very possible, and I think we could figure out the logistics and do it,” she said.
The next Richmond City Commission meeting is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast on the city's Facebook page, and on live access channel 376.