West Memphis proceeds with Christmas parade, one of few cities to do so

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. – While a growing number of Mid-South cities have canceled their annual Christmas parades over Covid-19 concerns, the West Memphis Chamber of Commerce went ahead with its parade Tuesday evening — with some noticeable changes.  

While in past years spectators lined Broadway, this year they were asked to remain in their vehicles. 

“She wanted to get closer so I just the trunk up and let her watch it from right here,” said spectator Kamarean Mills. 

“This is my hometown so I just like to see everybody just walking and just showing off what they got,” said spectator Sontee Dumas. 

Fewer people were allowed to take part in this year’s parade. There were only 28 floats down from the usual 70 or so. 

Other traditions were scraped altogether. 

“We usually have hot chocolate, we usually throw candy. None of that’s really going on this year,” said Emily Scarbrough, executive director of the West Memphis Chamber of Commerce.  

Memphis, Germantown and Collierville canceled their Christmas parades over Covid-19 concerns while Bartlett plans to host a “reverse parade” on Saturday in which spectators will drive past floats.  

The thought of West Memphis’ parade being cancelled kept long time participants in suspense. 

“We were like, ‘I don’t know if they’re gonna call it. If they call, what are we gonna do?’” said Angela Tuggle.  

Scarbrough said the Chamber of Commerce had considered canceling this year’s parade, but in the end, opted against it. 

“Our spectators and our participants were just, ‘You can’t cancel this. We’ve been looking forward to it,’” she said. 

This was the 68th year of the West Memphis Christmas Parade.  

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