2020 APCC Christmas Parade Cancelled

The Avon Park Chamber of Commerce has decided to cancel its 2020 APCC Christmas Parade. The annual event, which occurs on the first Monday after Thanksgiving, was scheduled for Monday, November 30, 2020.


As organizers of the parade, we considered several determining factors associated with the parade and determined it best to err on the side of caution and cancel the event. Unprecedented regional COVID-19 public health environments require we have the necessary health and safety assurances crucial to pursuing parade permits from both the City of Avon Park and Florida Department of Transportation. Certain essentials are currently lacking. Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-166, extending the state of emergency declared in Executive Order 20-52 for 60 days. Executive Order 20-166 (Emergency Management – Extension of Executive Order 20-52–COVID-19).


Currently (as of July 11, 2020), there are measurable and continual daily rise in COVID -19 positive cases. 15,000 new cases in Florida were reported Sunday, July 12, 2020, (Highlands County COVID-19 cases near 500, Highlands News Sun, Friday, June 10, 2020) which creates uncertainty in preparation for the parade where we can’t confidently promote the event or seek applications.


*The chamber is the organizer. We are a nonprofit non-governmental member business organization that gets no money from the city and has no vote or authority with the city of Avon Park. We received no money from the city government. We have to have liability, proper insurance, and road closure permits from the city and from the Florida Department of Transportation. Any organization wanting to put on an event has to go to City Hall fill out paperwork get it approved by the council and the FDOT. We cannot do that with confidence the information currently provided. We have absolutely nothing to do with the issue of whether or not kids go back to school. We are a nonprofit business organization. We hope that clears up the process and our role with respect to liability and health and safety presenting a parade.


The Avon Park Chamber of Commerce will continue to monitor the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic situation and remain focused on assisting our member businesses and local communities.


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