2020 PETERSBURG CHRISTMAS PARADE Highlights in pictures SATURDAY DECEMBER 19th
Petersburg Celebrated Christmas - Safely
By Craig Richards, LNNUSA.com
PETERSBURG - You just cannot quarantine the Christmas spirit.
The City of Petersburg, Dominion Energy and LNNUSA.com held the city's first ever “Reverse” Christmas Parade on Saturday December 19, 2020. The event kicked off at 6:00 p.m. in Old Towne/downtown Petersburg with 483 vehicles driving through with nearly 2,000 spectators according to estimates from the parade organizer and LNN staffers present on Saturday.
This year’s event was designed to be a community-wide endeavor ensuring a festive yet COVID compliant Christmas Celebration.
So, what was a reverse parade? - just that, a complete reversal of a typical parade. Generally, spectators line the street to view the procession. But in today's pandemic restricted environment that simply was not possible.
With safety in mind and committed to celebrating the holiday as a community, LNNUSA.com in conjunction with the City of Petersburg reverse engineered the traditional parade. Through the support of this year's signature sponsor Dominion Energy, spectators were able to view a stationary parade from the comfort and safety of their own vehicle.
To fully experience the parade a special music accompaniment was arranged. Spectators tuned to 87.9 FM as they drive by the parade. This service was provided by Lloyd Taylor of Audio Masters VA.
Signature Sponsor Dominion Energy representative LeRoy Adkins expressed the company’s deeper reasoning behind supporting the event this year. “Even though we are in a pandemic creating memories is so essential for all of us. The pandemic will pass on but the memories we create today can be treasured forever,” he said. “It’s important to support events that encourage the community spirit, especially in a pandemic. We were honored to support this event as it supports and reflects on Dominion Energy’s core values,” added Adkins, Energy Assistance Outreach Administrator.
The City mirrored that sentiment with their actions, paving the way for this community event to happen. Deputy City Manager – Community Affairs, Darnetta Tyus and her team coordinated the route for the stationary drive by parade. In addition, the team worked in conjunction with event organizer LNN on a very short timetable to ensure the celebration was both safe and memorable for the citizens of Petersburg.
WHAT SPECTATORS EXPERIENCED
COVID-19 social distancing ensured? Check!
Holiday music secured? Check!
What's else? Oh yes, the parade itself!
River Street was the site for an exciting, fun, and festive stationary display of emergency vehicles with lights blazing, colossal, towering inflatables some 20 feet high, an array of cartoon characters and more!
Additionally, Santa was in the house! Well, more specifically on the cobblestone.
The parade collection included...
Greeting for the Petersburg City Council, City Manager and Staff, Salute to our Armed Forces, Petersburg Police Department, Petersburg Fire Department, Petersburg Sheriff, Southside Emergency Service Crews, Inflatable displays including Clarice, the Grinch, Frosty, Snoopy and Toy Soldier, LNN USA Mobile News Vehicle, SANTA and more!
THE PARADE ROUTE
The Reverse Parade Route directed traffic down Market Street turn right on to River Street then right to Rock Street. Lines of vehicles stretching to the main thoroughfare of Washington Street forced traffic to be redirected exiting the parade route left on Old Street.
The biggest illumination of the evening wasn't found in the massive inflatables or even the lights of the police cruisers. It was evident in the faces of countless kids that "shouted out with glee" passing cartoon characters, displays and especially Santa.
You see Virginia, COVID can't kill Christmas. As long as the childlike spirit of Christmas remains in us all we will rise above our challenges. For it is that very fabric weaved into our American soul that will endure.
Merry Christmas from LNNUSA.com