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County faces Christmas cancellations

Christmas is always a festive time in Franklin County, with several events going on, but this year will be a little quieter thanks to the coronavirus, with several cancellations impacting the holiday celebrations.

Traditionally each year there is a Christmas parade in Russellville, Red Bay, Vina and Phil Campbell, but this year Russellville and Vina have made the decision not to host Christmas parades. 

“We really wanted to host the Christmas parade this year because we know it is something everyone always looks forward to,” said Vina Mayor Michael Moomaw. “But after seeing the way the numbers are rising, we decided it was the best decision for us to cancel the parade.” 

Moomaw said as much as he wishes the people of Vina were able to come celebrate the holidays in town, it seemed too risky to chance getting a large group of people together and spreading the virus. 

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, which coordinates the Russellville Christmas Parade, also made the decision to cancel the parade this year after watching the number of positive cases rise. 

“We were hoping we would see the number of positive cases leveling instead of rising,” said Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Director Cassie Medley. “Since the numbers are growing, it is in the best interest of everyone to cancel this year.” 

The Chamber of Commerce has also made the decision to cancel its annual Holly Day celebration, which was originally scheduled for Dec. 5. 

Despite two parade cancellations in Franklin County, Red Bay and Phil Campbell will both still have their annual Christmas parades. Red Bay’s parade will be Dec. 7, and Phil Campbell’s parade will be Dec. 10, each beginning at 6 p.m.

“We are every excited about having everyone out for the parade,” said Red Bay city administrator Jennifer Garrett.  

Both Phil Campbell and Red Bay parades will be outside with plenty of room to spread out so everyone can practice social distancing, which played a large factor in both municipalities deciding to continue their Christmas parades. 

“Everyone will be able to spread out and wear masks,” Garrett said. “We are looking forward to a great time.”