33rd Annual Blade Holiday Parade Canceled

Daily Dose  |  09/16/2020 9:00 am

The Blade Holiday Parade planned for November 14 has been canceled.

With large inflatable character balloons, several high school marching bands, and members of the Distinguished Clown Corps, the parade is one of the largest in the region.  An estimated 25,000 people attended the 2019 event, which showcased more than 80 units.

“The parade’s success actually is part of the issue,” says Blade President and General Manager Kurt Franck.  “How can you keep more than 600 parade participants, and 25,000 spectators socially distant?”

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department does not permit parades now, and no one knows at this point what the status will be in November when it comes to COVID-19. 

“It’s too risky to make major event plans,” Mr. Franck added. “We must do the best we can with the information we have now.  Even if the coronavirus appears under control in November, it is impossible to know if parents would feel comfortable bringing their children to such a large-scale event.”

After discussion with the main sponsors, including Yark Automotive, the Distinguished Clown Corps, and Walt Churchill’s Markets, the tough call to cancel the parade was made.

The Saturday parade had been slated for November 14 in downtown Toledo and would have marked the event’s 33rd year.

Under normal circumstances, plans would already be in full gear – arranging parade marshals, marching bands, inflatable balloons, clowns, and units, as well as handling travel plans from the North Pole for the guest of honor, Santa Claus, to be part of it all.

“The parade can return bigger and better than ever in 2021,” Mr. Franck said. “As for now, we are exploring other ideas to help brighten the holidays for young and old alike.”