A town in North Carolina held a Christmas parade on Saturday despite the health department’s repeated requests that it be canceled. Hundreds of onlookers cheered as floats and parade participants marched by in Youngsville. The News & Observer reports that about half of those present at the event wore masks. State Rep. Lisa Stone Barnes led the parade, unmasked and in a red convertible. Mayor Fonzie Flowers previously said volunteers would be enforcing masking guidelines during the event; that did not appear to happen, although there were signs reminding people to maintain social distance and mask up along the route.
Franklin County health officials had pleaded with Youngsville in recent days to cancel or reconfigure the parade as most towns in North Carolina did. The county has seen a spike in coronavirus cases over the past month. “It is unfortunate that at this time it appears the Town of Youngsville has elected to move forward with their parade,” Franklin County Health Director Scott Lavigne wrote in a statement earlier this week obtained by WNCT. He added, “the virus-math says even with strong adherence to wearing face coverings and remaining distant, this event can and most likely will promote far more than the Spirit of Christmas in Franklin County.”