Because of safety concerns with slippery streets as well as with forecasted cold and blustery weather conditions, St. Clair’s administration decided Friday morning to cancel the Lighted Christmas Parade scheduled for Saturday evening.
Mayor Ron Blum and City Administrator Rick Childers made the decision at about 10:30 a.m. Friday and overruled parks and recreation board members who earlier in the day had decided to have the event go on as scheduled.
“When it comes down to it, the safety of children and the participants far outweighs the benefits of having the parade,” Blum told The Missourian. “We certainly don’t want anyone to get hurt because of the parade.”
The mayor said some of his concerns center on children who line the parade route streets and rush toward floats to get candy. He said he would not want people to slip and potentially hurt themselves.
Because of the weather conditions, Childers said some individuals called city hall on Friday morning to inquire about the status of the parade. That led to the initial discussion with the park board.
Park board members then discussed the parade through email conversations. Despite some concerns with the weather and conditions, their original consensus was to allow the parade to be conducted as planned, especially since Saturday’s forecast calls for sunny skies.
The projected high temperature for Saturday is in the low to mid 20s with the overnight low expected to drop into the teens. The parade was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
“After discussion with the mayor and further review, the decision has been made to cancel the parade,” Childers told park board members through a text message later on Friday morning.
There is no scheduled make-up date.
“Although we’re disappointed we understand where the mayor is coming from,” park board President Linda Luetje Nelson said. “We certainly wouldn’t want anything to happen to anyone.”
Other park board members agreed.
St. Clair’s Lighted Christmas Parade traditionally has ushered in Santa Claus. In addition, during the past couple of years, the jolly elf has participated in a ceremony that helps the city flip the switch that lights the decorated caboose in Main Street Park.
Fun With Santa
Saturday’s Fun With Santa event at St. Clair Junior High School remains scheduled. The indoor event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium.
It is sponsored by St. John United Church of Christ and the St. Clair VFW Women’s Auxiliary and will be free for children up to age 12.
During the three-hour activity, children can visit Santa Claus, eat lunch, play games, jump around in a bounce house and watch Michelle’s School of Dance dancers.