MT. VERNON — For the first time in almost 30 years, there will be no Downtown Christmas Parade.
The parade, which was originally scheduled on Saturday, was canceled due to the weather and poor road conditions. Organizers worked to re-schedule, but ran into problems with the road closing permits.
“We tried to set up a make up date but found out our permit only allowed us to close the route for one day,” said John Scrivner, parade coordinator. “We thank everyone who has worked on our parade and hope you will return and be part of it next year.”
The parade route goes down Main Street and Broadway, which are Illinois Route 15 — with closings controlled by the state. The permits for the closure for the parade were only good for the original date, and parade organizers would not be able to get a new permit in time to hold the event.
The parade was started about 30 years ago by Don Peacock and others involved in the former Mt. Vernon Downtown Business Association — a precursor of the Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation. The parade continued after the association ceased operations and became a volunteer effort with sponsors. Coordinators of the parade have included Karen Rector MacEachern, Debbie Chiapelli and Scrivner. Sponsors have included CableVision of Southern Illinois, Charter Communications and Mt. Vernon Net, Inc. This was the first year Wisper ISP was to sponsor the parade. The business has agreed to sponsor the parade next year.
“We are excited to be a part of the Christmas Parade in Mt. Vernon next year.” stated Nathan Stooke, CEO of Wisper ISP. “We wish everyone a merry Christmas this year.”