Foley officials call off Christmas Parade - Gulf Coast News Today

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By Jessica Vaughn

FOLEY - Foley officials have made the decision to cancel the Foley Christmas Parade. The parade was

scheduled to roll on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. through the streets of downtown Foley.

“We really hated to do this, but after looking at the current [COVID-19] numbers we felt we had a responsibility to the people to not contribute to these rising numbers,” said Mayor Ralph Hellmich. “We will celebrate Christmas in other ways: by enjoying our decorations in town, and we have a nice “non-event” Christmas Tree Lighting scheduled in Heritage Park so people can enjoy the decorations at night.”

The Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on Friday, Dec. 4 in Heritage Park. This year, no official program will be held, and instead people are welcome to come take a stroll through the park beginning at nightfall, admire the decorations and lights, and potentially walk through some falling “snow” along the path. The Christmas Tree Decorating Contest will still be held, with competing trees being complete on Thursday, Dec. 3. The Christmas Village will be on display in the park.

“It’s unfortunate to cancel the parade, but we want to make sure that everybody is as safe as possible,” Hellmich said. “We have a responsibility to our citizens, the medical community, our first responders, and our municipal employees … We looked at all of those factors when making our decision.”

The parade is put on by the Foley Kiwanis Club, who were alerted of the city’s decision on Thursday, Nov. 19.

“I’m hurt by the decision, but I understand it,” said Russ Morrison, club president. “I’m not faulting our leadership for making this call, they’re doing what they think is best for everyone. We’ll make something happen. It’s no use having a club if you can’t get out there and support your community, so we’re going to move forward.”

The Poker Run, which the club was forced to cancel back in September due to hurricane damages, has been rescheduled for April 17, 2021. According to a post on the Kiwanis’ Facebook page, the club members are planning to regroup to have a bigger and better Christmas parade next year. “We will overcome all the disappointment brought by this virus and move forward in a positive manner,” the post says.

“The Kiwanis Club works diligently on this, and we’re going to work with them closely moving forward,” said Hellmich. “We’re very cognizant of all the groups, people and organizations who participate and the work they put into their floats, so we felt it would be a disservice to them to wait until the very last minute to make this decision.”

For more on Foley’s holiday event schedule and tree lighting information, check out For more information on the Foley Kiwanis Club visit

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