Reversing direction: Garden City Christmas parade to be held Dec. 19

Brad Nading
Kansas Children's Service League was one of the organizations participating in the Burtis Motor Christmas Parade in 2019 on Main Street in downtown Garden City. With the COVID-19 pandemic, that parade has been canceled, but a reverse parade will be held Dec. 19 at the Finney County Fairgrounds exhibition parking lot.

Cancellation of events has become a normal occurrence in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of those December event fatalities is the annual Christmas parade on Main Street, in downtown Garden City, hosted by Garden City Downtown Vision.

But there’s an alternative this year.

The Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau will be holding “A Very ‘COVID’ Christmas Reverse Parade of Lights” from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Finney County Fairgrounds exhibition parking lot.

“With the rest of our Christmas events canceled, we had a member of the public come in and ask why we couldn’t do it backwards,” Roxanne Morgan, FCCVB executive director said. “So we’re giving it a try. The parade will be static and have the public drive through it. If we fail, at least we tried.”

The parade’s floats will set up on the exhibition parking lot between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19 for the reverse parade. As of Thursday afternoon, there were 18 different floats participating in the event. The public can start driving through the event at 7 p.m., while staying in their vehicles, for COVID-19 safety and social distancing.

Morgan said it has been tough being able to accomplish holiday events with pandemic restrictions and safety for the public and those running events.

Friday was the cut-off day for entries, but Morgan said that as long as the FCCVB knows by Monday or Tuesday that any others want to have floats it will work fine.

“This gives the community something to go out and do,” Morgan said. “This gives us all a chance to celebrate as a community without having to worry about the issues of COVID.”