ODON — The coronavirus has caused the cancellation of yet another annual holiday event. The Odon Business Alliance has called off the lighted Christmas Parade that was set for Dec. 6.
“We had been talking with the Daviess County Health Department and they were concerned about the crowds,” said Odon Business Alliance member Suzette Bowman. “Even though it was going to be outside, they still didn’t think it would be safe. That is the one thing you cannot control with a parade is the size of the crowd and where they stand. So out of a concern for safety it has been canceled.”
The parade is part of the effort by the Odon Business Alliance to promote shopping in the small Daviess County community through the holidays.
“As a member of the Alliance, as a business owner and as a resident, I am disappointed,” said Bowman. “Because of concerns over covid, so many small towns have had to call off their events. We had the mandatory shutdown, then the pumpkin festival was called off. It makes it hard to stay positive and looking forward.”
She says the cancellations and pronouncements from the governor keep making things more difficult.
“People feel they can’t go anywhere,” said Bowman. “They shut themselves in and just order online. I am hoping that when this virus runs its course, and it will run its course, that the small towns and their businesses will be able to rebound.”
The Odon parade joins the Washington parade as holiday events that have been canceled.
Another annual holiday activity is still under discussion in Loogootee. Monday night the city’s Festival and Special Events Committee will be meeting to determine what will happen Dec. 6 with the annual tree lighting and parade
“We will have to determine what we will do about the parade, the stroll and the tree lighting,” said Loogootee Mayor Noel Harty. “We have been in discussion with the health department about it. We are not in ‘red’ so, I think we can do it with social distancing and masks. It is a big decision. People still want to be involved and do things. I am just afraid that whatever we decide it will be wrong.”
In Odon, there is still one more event the Business Alliance is hoping can happen for the holidays.
“I hope we can figure out a way to do our Spirit of Christmas event,” said Bowman. “We are planning to do a tree lighting at the park. The plan is for everyone to stay in their cars. I hope we can work that out.”
Meanwhile, she carries a worry and a hope for the parade.
“I am concerned that when we cancel something like that, it will just wind up fading away,” said Bowman. “People will think we didn’t do it last year and it was OK, so let’s just stop doing it. Then I am also hopeful, like everyone else, that next year we can bring it back and it will be bigger and better than ever.”