Story at a glance

  • The parade scheduled for Saturday will go on even though county officials said the parade would violate North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order restricting crowds.
  • Town officials said they are confident they can hold the parade safely.
  • “If our state health guidelines allow for over 2,000 people to be in a four acre Walmart at the same time, we believe it’s safe to have a fraction of that number along our outdoor parade route that’s over 18 acres, nearly five times the size of a Walmart,” the town’s mayor said.

A North Carolina town has plans to hold its annual Christmas parade with hundreds of people in attendance despite warnings from local health officials that coronavirus cases are rising and the governor’s executive order limiting large gatherings. 

Youngsville, a town northeast of Raleigh, N.C., plans to move forward with its mile-long parade with as many as 300 people expected to show up. Other towns in Franklin County, where Youngsville is located, and across North Carolina have scrapped such events due to the worsening COVID-19 outbreak, according to The News & Observer


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The parade scheduled for Saturday will go on even though county officials said the parade would violate North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order restricting crowds and potentially accelerate the spread of the virus. 

Youngsville Mayor Fonzie Flowers said the town is confident the community can work together to observe public health practices to hold a safe parade, similar to how residents are allowed to visit grocery stores, retailers and barber shops. 

“Please know the town’s top priority is the safety of our community,” Flowers said in a statement

“If our state's health guidelines allow for over 2,000 people to be in a 4-acre Walmart at the same time, we believe it’s safe to have a fraction of that number along our outdoor parade route that’s over 18 acres, nearly five times the size of a Walmart,” he said. 

Town officials told The News & Observer the parade falls under the same First Amendment exemption that allowed protests in Raleigh earlier this year. Attendees are being advised to social distance, wear masks and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently while at the outdoor event. 

North Carolina has reported more than 382,000 cases and 5,410 deaths over the course of the pandemic, while 2,101 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. In Franklin County, 2,101 cases have been reported with 33 deaths.


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Published on Dec 04, 2020