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Lisbon to hold Christmas parade at county fairgrounds

LISBON — The Chamber of Commerce is doing what it can to bring some normalcy to the Christmas season in the middle of a pandemic.

The chamber’s annual Christmas parade will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at the county fairgrounds instead of through downtown Lisbon. Because of the Covid-19 virus, the parade will be a drive-thru event featuring floats that remain in place while motorists drive through the fairgrounds.

Village council had asked the chamber to consider having the parade follow its traditional route through the downtown business district, but chamber president LaDawn Whitman said that was impossible with all of the pandemic restrictions in place.

“Of course, we would all like for it to be downtown and everything to be normal, but we can’t do it downtown and follow the rules,” she said.

The Christmas parade usually features 100 floats, one or two high school bands and other participants. Whitman said every person and group choosing to participate in the parade must be on a float. She believes about 30 organizations will have floats, with those on the float required to maintain social distancing.

Lisbon’s high school band indicated they were interested in participating but Whitman said that may no longer be the case since the school went to full at-home online instruction after three students tested positive last weekend.

Santa Claus will be featured on one of the floats and greet passing children, but neither he nor any of the other participants will be handing out candy.

The chamber is also hosting a free event called “Gnome for the Holidays” in the hopes of generating some extra Christmas shopping for local businesses.

The tickets can be obtained in advance and are redeemable at 12 participating businesses in exchange for a free gift. After a participant visits all 12 businesses and their ticket has been so marked, their name will be entered in a raffle that will be held following the Christmas parade. The winner will receive a basket with something from each business.

“We’re hoping that will bring some business to merchants in our town,” Whitman said.

Tickets can be obtained in advance at the chamber office and participating businesses. To ensure social distancing, the tickets can be redeemed at the businesses from Dec. 1-5 instead of just on Dec. 5.

“We’re just trying to think outside the box, and hopefully people will still come out,” Whitman said.

tgiambroni@mojonews.com

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