Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade cancelled for 2020

COVID-19 pandemic concerns the basis for decision, Sarasota City manager points out

St. Nicholas waves from a float during the 2012 Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade. File photo

The organizers of the annual Sarasota Holiday Parade have announced that they have made “the difficult decision to pause the festivities this year and return better than ever in 2021,” as Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin characterized it in his Aug. 21 newsletter.

“Months of planning and preparation” go into the parade, Barwin noted. Given “the precarious public health situation,” he added, the organizers felt they had no choice but to cancel the event at this point.

“As we’re enduring the steamy dog days of summer, it may seem early for this decision,” Barwin continued, “but many parade participants begin building float entries as early as August, so organizers needed to act.

“While the festivities will be missed,” Barwin added, “we appreciate the parade’s board of directors’ mindful approach, putting community health and safety first. We look forward to the Holiday Parade returning in 2021,” on Saturday, Dec. 4, “with an extra special 25th anniversary celebration,” he wrote.