This weekend's holiday events are still scheduled to take place in Tahlequah, with accommodations in place for COVID-19.
Officials from the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce stressed that this year’s Christmas parade, themed “Home for the Holidays,” is a first of its kind.
“A lot of people still don’t know, and they still don’t understand, what a 'reverse parade' is,” said Kelley Robertson, TACC operations manager. “It will be a stationary parade in which the floats and stages will be stationary and the attendees will drive past.”
The parade route will begin on Morgan Street and continue down onto Keetoowah Street, where Santa Claus and his elves will hand out candy bags to each vehicle.
“You can feed in on Morgan Street from the east or west side of Muskogee Avenue. The east side will be from East Downing Street; you will turn off of Downing and come at it that way. From the west side, it will be from College Avenue and they feed onto Morgan Street,” Robertson said.
Lakes Country 102.1 radio will be on a stage, providing a live feed of the event. Attendees can tune to the station through their radios and listen to the live summary of the parade as they drive through it.
"These events will all be COVID-19-safe through the CDC guidelines with social distancing and mask policies," Robertson said.
Robertson said local businesses can take advantage of free advertising by participating in the reverse parade.
“It doesn’t get any easier than that, and I wish more of our businesses owners would realize that, because it is probably the cheapest and easiest way they can advertise and have fun,” Robertson said. “If you as a business want to advertise, be creative, come down, get a spot, and be a part of a safe Christmas parade.”
Everyone in the parade zone is required to wear a mask. Speculators wouldn’t have to, since they are in their vehicles during the event.
“You don’t have to walk the whole parade route, and you don’t have to have a moving float put together that somebody has to pull,” Robertson said. “From a business standpoint, it is a great way and inexpensive way to come out and advertise your business.”
Other holiday festivities downtown will include the Tahlequah Main Street Association Cookie Stroll on Main on Saturday, Dec. 5, and the tree-lighting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 4. The Christmas parade lineup will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6.
“The parade participants will need to be there and have their setup fully done between 2 and 5 p.m.,” said Isaac Burk, TACC events and communications coordinator.
Entries are being accepted until Friday, Dec. 4 at noon. Applications can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce on 123 E. Delaware St. or completed online at https://form.jotform.com/203106540062137.