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Harrisonburg Reverse Holiday Parade canceled due to tightened COVID-19 guidelines

christmas covid
(© Jess rodriguez –

The City of Harrisonburg will not move forward with this year’s revised Reverse Holiday Parade due to new COVID-19 guidelines regarding social gatherings announced by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam last week.

Gov. Northam’s latest Executive Order, issued Nov. 13, restricts social gatherings to no more than 25 individuals in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and wellness of the community.

Due to the nature of the planned Reverse Holiday Parade and the number of participants who had signed up to host a float at Westover Park, it was clear the event would not be able to adhere to the new gathering restrictions, and city staff made the difficult decision not to move forward.

“While it is disappointing that we will not be able to gather with our community this year to celebrate the holidays and everything that makes The Friendly City the special place it is, we know that this is the best possible decision to ensure the safety of our families and our neighbors,” Harrisonburg Recreation & Special Events Manager Matt Little said.

Harrisonburg Parks & Recreation is considering alternative events to still engage with residents and families this holiday season. A virtual tree lighting event will take place Friday, Dec. 4, broadcast on the Harrisonburg Parks & Recreation Facebook page. And the Santa Around Town program will see Santa Claus partner with the Harrisonburg Fire and Police Departments to take a tour through The Friendly City on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Meanwhile, the Calls from the North Pole event is already taking place, where families can register to receive a call from Santa’s Helpers on Monday, Dec. 14.

Learn more about these programs and events at