PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA)–Paxton Revitalization Initiative for Downtown Enhancement (P.R.I.D.E.) announced that it would cancel its annual Christmas parade this year.
Organizers believed it would be too difficult to stay safe with a large crowd. Romonna Williams, a Co-Owner of Ruby Jewel Antiques says it’s upsetting that such a community staple had to be canceled.
“Those traditions are what brings us together as a small town and as a community.” Williams said. “We depend on those things. It’s sad, but hopefully we won’t have to worry about this next year.”
Even though the Christmas parade has been canceled, P.R.I.D.E. is having an open-house to support local businesses.
The open-house will take place on the weekend before Thanksgiving. P.R.I.D.E. is encouraging businesses all over town to decorate for the event.
Robin McNish, owner of Robin’s Country Crossroads antiques, says the extra exposure is now more important than ever, especially as local shops continue to stay open.
“It’s very crucial, this is our biggest selling season of the year.” McNish said. “Because of the previous shutdowns, it can make or break a small business.”
Melody Heneger, Ruby Jewel Antiques’ other co-owner added that these next couple of months will be crucial for their businesses.
“Just getting merchandise has been difficult. We’ve got our merchandise, we’re fully stocked, and we’re ready to go. So it’s going to be very crucial, in particular, if we have to shut down again. This open house is going to be very important,” she said.
Along with the open house, businesses are being asked to stay open extra hours for paxton’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday November 27th.