Severe weather threat halts Cleveland parade festivities

The threat of stormy weather caused officials to pull the plug on Cleveland’s annual Christmas in Mountains & Lighted Parade on Saturday, Dec. 1.

Rain fell during much of the day, but late that afternoon, the White County Chamber of Commerce put out the word that the parade had been cancelled – and there would be no make-up date.

This had never happened in the history of the parade, and many residents quickly took to social media to express their displeasure at the decision. But at the Cleveland City Council meeting on Monday night, Police Chief John Foster said he was the one calling the shots, and he had no regrets.

“I take full responsibility for cancelling the Christmas parade,” he said, “but we’re just not going to do it in thunder and lightning.”

Thunderstorms are rare in December, but on Saturday there were indications of possible severe weather, and local officials became concerned about public safety.

“We know a lot of people were disappointed,” said Chamber president Beth Truelove. “But we fully supported Chief Foster’s decision.”

The Chamber had not set a rain date, and pushing the event back a week would put it into conflict with the Helen city parade on Dec. 8.

“We looked at alternatives, but there’s just not one (for rescheduling),” Truelove said.

In planning for next year’s parade, she vowed that a make-up date would be designated ahead of time, to avoid confusion and make sure that parade fans won’t miss out on a Cleveland tradition.


Helen Christmas parade set for this Saturday

The annual Helen Christmas Parade is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Helen this Saturday, Dec. 8.

This event will feature costumed characters, floats, and Santa. The parade is scheduled to go on rain or shine, unless there’s ice, according to the Alpine Helen/White County Convention & Visitors Bureau, who is in charge of the event.

For more information, contact 706-878-2181 or visit www.helenga.org.

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