Blythewood Christmas Parade canceled

Tree Lighting Set for Sunday, Dec. 6

BLYTHEWOOD – During a special called meeting on Oct. 29, town council voted unanimously to host the town’s annual tree lighting, but voted to cancel this year’s Christmas parade. The vote on the parade was 4-1, with Mayor Bryan Franklin voting against.

“I’m a ‘no’ because I really wanted to have it,” Franklin lamented following the vote.

In a bow to social distancing for spectators, Franklin had suggested having the parade wind through the park, onto McLean Road and left on Main Street where it would pick up the traditional route through town, then back down Langford Road to end in the park.

At issue were two things: First, if the parade were to be held in the park as Franklin suggested, the floats would have to maneuver the railroad track twice. Second, only 25 percent of the entries from last year responded that they would enter again this year. Forty-five of the participants from last year did not respond at all to the parade committee’s survey.

After some discussion among council members, Councilman Eddie Baughman suggested canceling the Christmas parade in lieu of an Easter parade next spring, but wait to see what the numbers are then.

“I think the numbers speak for themselves,” Councilman Donald Brock said. “Seventy-five percent of last year’s participants have not responded. I think it’s in our own best interest to postpone the parade indefinitely and re-evaluate it again in the spring.”

In the end, council agreed, with Franklin dissenting.

Tree Lighting

While the annual Blythewood Christmas tree lighting will go on, it will go on a week later than the usual Thanksgiving weekend. Instead, this year it will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6. While the event will still be held in the front yard of Town Hall, Franklin said the evening’s entertainment hasn’t been lined up yet and will be announced closer to the event.