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2020 Oxford Christmas Parade canceled

The Christmas spirit in Oxford has taken a hit.

Oxford’s annual Christmas Parade was canceled on Thursday in a joint announcement by the City of Oxford and the North Central Mississippi Board of Realtors. Due to what the City called “declining number of participants,” the decision was made to not have a parade in 2020.

The format of the parade was scheduled to look vastly different than in years prior. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and health guidelines, the parade was shifted to the parking lot of mTrade Park, where it would be more of a drive-thru where cars would drive past the floats.

In a normal year, the parade starts at the University of Mississippi’s campus and drives down University Avenue to the Downtown Square and up North Lamar Boulevard where it ends at the Mid Town Shopping Center parking lot.

“As hard as we tried to provide something fun and normal for the kids and adults in our area in 2020, it has become evident that proceeding with the Oxford Christmas Parade is not possible,” read a joint statement from NCMR president Alison Alger and executive officer Linda Allgood. “It breaks our hearts, but at this point we have to cancel this year’s parade.

“We appreciate the hard work of our partners at the City of Oxford and all the entries who really did everything humanly possible to work around the challenges of the year. Unfortunately, some things are just beyond our control, no matter how hard we try to make it work. We look forward to a fabulous parade in 2021.”

This year’s parade was scheduled for Dec. 7 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at mTrade Park.