It’s official: Belmont Shore Christmas Parade canceled

The inevitable is finally official: The 38th annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Belmont Shore Business Association announced in a recent newsletter.

The newsletter also confirmed the cancelation of the Trick Or Treat On Second Street, and the Belmont Shore Art Walk & Chalk Contest.

In all, no events will occur on Second Street through the end of the year, the newsletter said.

“The board made that decision months ago,” Dede Rossi, BSBA executive director, said.

  • December 2, 2017-Photo by Tracey Roman/for the Press-Telegram
    Suzie Price and her crew make their way down the parade route in the 35th Annual Belmont Shore Parade Saturday night.

  • Petey poses between Press-Telegram freelance writers Sarah Vehrs (left) and Kat Schuster during the Belmont Shores Christmas Parade. (Photo by Tom Bray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

  • Participants from Councilwoman Suzie Price’s float wave to spectators during the 36th Annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 01, 2018. (Photo by Ana P. Garcia, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Lagoon Playgroup float is seen as participants wave to spectators during the 36th Annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 01, 2018. (Photo by Ana P. Garcia, Contributing Photographer)

  • The 37th annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade took place on Saturday, December 7, 2019. Photo by Geronimo Quitoriano, Contributing Photographer

“It’s just that we normally put the parade application on the website around Sept. 1,” Rossi said about the newsletter announcement. “I was trying to keep it positive — the parklet restaurant program has been extended to the end of the year, and the Small Business Saturday is still going on.”

Small Business Saturday, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is a promotion, not an event, Rossi said, so it doesn’t fall under the coronavirus health restrictions than ban large groups and gatherings.

The Belmont Shore Christmas Parade has become the largest holiday parade in the area, drawing up to 50,000 spectators and more than 100 entries. It takes months to plan, Rossi said, with the association needing to secure sponsors, handle logistics and get permits from the city.

The parade traditionally takes place on the first Saturday in December. Rossi said the BSBA already is working to make sure the Second Street business district still has the holiday vibe, with decorations and lighting.

She has received some angry and disappointed messages since the newsletter went out, she added.

“People are very sensitive when it comes to their traditions,” Rossi said. “We were going to make an announcement (about the parade cancellation), but then the Rose Parade announced it was cancelling. We figured our announcement would get lost.”

This is the first time the parade has been canceled. Rossi said it will return in 2021, assuming the pandemic has passed.

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