Perry’s Lighted Parade and Holiday Celebration have been canceled due to the latest event-and-gathering restrictions set by the governor to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Perry Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Nov. 16 proclamation prohibited all social, community, business, or leisure gatherings of more than 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors through Dec. 10.
“The public health and safety of the community remains the top priority for community leaders and activity organizers when making decisions this year,” said Lynsi Pasutti, executive director of the Perry Chamber of Commerce. “So while not ideal when it comes to our beloved annual traditions, cancellations are in the best interest of the general public.”
Along with the lighted parade, all activities with Santa at La Poste following the parade and associated festivities coinciding with the day after Thanksgiving are canceled, Pasutti said.
“While these activities that traditionally kick-off the holiday season in Perry will not occur this year, plans for holiday cheer are in the works as an alternative,” she said. “We are working on some things that we hope the community will get involved with during the upcoming holiday season to make up for this change of plans.”
In light of the parade cancellation, the Perry Chamber is launching a Holiday Lighting and Decoration Contest, Pasutti said, with two categories and prizes for each. From Friday, Nov. 27 through Friday, Dec. 18, Perry-area residents and businesses may submit photos of their own holiday lights and decorations by tagging @PerryAreaChamber and #PerryHolidayLights on Facebook or Instagram.
Holiday Lighting and Decoration Contest entries will also be accepted via email to PerryChamber@PerryIA.org. Individuals can nominate entries by doing the same. Judging will follow, and prizes will be awarded the week of Dec. 21.
Additional plans for alternative Santa sightings and North Pole letter drop offs are still in the works and will be announced at a later date, Pasutti said. A Christmas Eve Jingle is also set for Thursday, Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. Community members are invited to step outside — minding social-distancing guidelines — wherever they are to ring a bell for two minutes at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve in order to spread Christmas spirit and help Santa’s sleigh fly later that night.
Pasutti said businesses, organizations or individuals interested in helping with the holiday initiatives should contact the Perry Chamber of Commerce at PerryChamber@PerryIA.org or 515-465-4601.