Copperas Cove Christmas parade canceled due to “lack of participation”
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The annual Copperas Cove Christmas parade has been canceled, according to a statement issued Monday morning by Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce President Alicia Menard.
Menard said that the parade had been canceled due to “lack of participation,” and that the chamber needed a minimum of 25-30 entries “in order to move forward and host a viable parade event and unfortunately, we too far from reaching that minimum.”
Instead of a traditional parade in motion, the chamber had planned for a “frozen” or reverse parade, with static groups and displays set up along a route that went through city park, and observers could in turn drive through the parade to view the entries. On Nov. 17, Mayor Bradi Diaz signed off on her approval of the parade, which included a route through City Park in which displays would be spaced.
Recently, the chamber had caught flak from some who questioned why the mayor permitted the chamber to even hold an indoor festival and the parade, after the VFW Post 8577 canceled its Veterans Day parade, which led to Menard issuing the Nov. 20 statement.
The 26th annual Krist Kindl Markt will still open on Thursday, with changes again due to the ongoing pandemic. Last year, the event moved from downtown to Copperas Cove City Park.
This year, the event has changed again, and will be held inside the Copperas Cove Civic Center. The event is free, with hours from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon until 4 p.m. Sunday. Krist Kindl Markt will also have a virtual live tree lighting ceremony Thursday at 7 p.m.
In addition to the arts and crafts vendors, there will also be a Christmas tree decorating contest with entries to be judged Thursday evening, with trees on display at the Civic Center throughout the weekend.
There will be social distancing guidelines enforced at the festival, to include the wearing of face coverings while inside the building. All food vendors will be outdoors.
Menard issued a statement on Nov. 20, in which she explained the format for the festival and the parade, and the social distancing measures that were put in place for the events, such as providing masks, setting up sanitizing stations, self-screening of attendees, along with strictly monitoring the Civic Center capacity. Additionally, the frequently touched objects such as door handles, countertops, sink handles, and more will be cleaned and disinfected frequently, and that increased ventilation of the facility will be a priority, weather permitting.
“Know that it is our number one priority to provide our community with a shopping and outdoor dining experience that follows all CDC Guidelines & Protocols just as many of our local retailers and restaurants are doing on a daily basis,” Menard wrote. “With that being said, it is important that everyone knows we hear, respect and sympathize with the frustrations being voiced and this announcement is being made to simply provide some clarity and transparency on the purpose and mission of this particular event; which is to provide the community with the following opportunities.”
Menard named the live virtual tree lighting ceremony, the lights and displays in the park all season long, free parking and entrance for Krist Kindl Markt itself, free participation for the parade, free Christmas tree decorating contest, and free access to the chamber’s online virtual market.
Menard said the revenue generated from the festival through sponsorships and booth fees will support 100 percent of the expenses associated with the holiday lights and displays in City Park, and also to fund awards for the Christmas parade and tree decorating contests.