Ammon’s Winter Light Parade (in reverse) set for this weekend
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AMMON — Although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has derailed a lot of holiday plans, Ammon city leaders say they’ve found a safe way to hold their annual Winter Light Parade on Saturday.
Planners of the Light Parade are striving to be compliant with current COVID-19 restrictions by holding the event “in reverse.” Instead of an actual parade, the floats will all be lined up at a single location in the Hillcrest High School parking lot and remain stationary while the public drives through to view the lights.
Ammon spokesman Randal Miller told EastIdahoNews.com that holding the Light Parade reverse-style provided a way to avoid canceling the event while remaining compliant with Gov. Brad Little’s Stage 2 of Rebound Idaho, which calls for maintaining social distancing and restricts gatherings to no more than 10 people.
“After the Stage 2 mandate came down, a bunch of us were over in the City Building, and we were wondering how we could still do this if we even could do this at all,” Miller said. “Someone in the meeting mentioned they had heard about someone doing something this before.”
After mulling the idea over, the parade planners approached the people who had already signed up to build floats to gauge their interest in doing a stationary event. When the float builders confirmed that they were still interested, the planners decided to hold the event and hope for the best.
“We just didn’t want to cancel everything altogether,” Miller said. “We still wanted to try to do something. We did have to cancel the event at the park with the vendors when we light up the park and have the fireworks and the DJ. But we still wanted to try to find a way to have some semblance of a parade.”
Miller also said that it was important to find a way to have the parade to help give people a sense of hope.
“It’s been a very tough year,” he said. “People are struggling, people are lonely and we just think it’s important for the morale of the community that we still have things to do and not just cancel everything. So many things have been canceled and adjusted and people aren’t going to be able to travel for Thanksgiving like normal or have family over. So just think it’s a good morale booster for the community that we’re trying to still do something.”
In spite of the restrictions, Miller expects the parade to still be a fun event and hopes the public will turn out to support it.
“We’re hoping to have about 25 floats with lots of lights and lots of music,” he said. “It can still be very fun to drive by. It’s something to do on a cold night in your car with the heat on. It can still be a fun event. A good family event while still staying within the COVID Mandates.”
The city of Ammon’s Winter Light Parade is set for Saturday, Nov. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. Visitors are required to stay in their vehicles at all times.
You can enter the parade if you’re heading westbound down Sunnyside and turn right into the school. The left-turn lane will be blocked off and drivers won’t be able to access the parade from there.