Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stevie Kearse announced that Rolla's annual Christmas Parade has been canceled.

“After much consideration, discussions, and consulting with local health officials, it has become clear that holding the Christmas Parade during the COVID-19 pandemic is not in the best interest of our community's health and safety,” Kearse said. 

“Many factors were considered when making the decision; the increase of community cases of COVID, all the work the public schools are doing to keep the kids safe and in school, and other holiday events being held virtually. We feel that asking families to gather at a parade would be irresponsible,”  Kearse said in an email on Wednesday announcing the parade was canceled.  

Kearse encourages community members to support safe holiday events that are still happening in the area. The Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce has a list of holiday events currently scheduled at www.visitrolla.com/christmas.

“We will continue to keep you posted of all holiday activities so you and your families can continue with safe holiday traditions,” Kearse said.  

One event Kearse recommends, which is similar to a reverse parade, is the Christmas in the Park light display, hosted by the Lioness Club of Rolla. Christmas in the Park features Christmas lights and displays from over 80 businesses, churches and organizations set up in Rolla Lions Club Park.

The 19th annual light display is free to the public, and families who attend will have an opportunity to see Santa, Ms. Claus and Frosty, from Dec. 9 to Dec. 19.

The light display will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Rolla Lions Club Park, 1061 S. Bishop Ave., in Rolla. Donations will be accepted.