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Christmas kickoff still a go
Council discusses cancelling amid increased COVID cases
christmas a go pic
Great Bend city employees put up Christmas decorations in Brit Spaugh Park recently in preparation for the annual Trail of Lights. The city’s Home for the Holidays celebration will still take place Nov. 28 as COVID-19 cases spike. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Great Bend’s annual Home for the Holidays Christmas season kickoff will go on as planned, despite rising numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, it was decided by the City Council Monday night.

The festival, set for Saturday, Nov. 28, came up when City Administrator Kendal Francis addressed the council with his regular administrative update.

“I would hate to see our parade go away,” Mayor Cody Schmidt said. “I think the community needs something like that.”

However, “I just really think we have to look at these numbers as a hole and be human about the situation, and understand that these numbers are climbing. There are a lot of sick people.”

He said if the show goes on, a lot of people will show up because they haven’t been able to do things for a long time. “But I just don’t know if I want our city name, our city logo in the center of attention when we double or triple the cases because we all go out to have a little bang downtown.”

Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said she normally has 50 entries in the parade, but she only has 17, plus the city’s five entries, and the deadline has passed. “So we are significantly down on parade entries as well.”

He then said the council needed to put the matter to a vote. His suggestion was all or nothing. 

“I don’t see why we’d have just a parade and not do anything else because you’re still going to have people lined up down Main Street,” Schmidt said. 

Councilman Cory Urban then moved to cancel the Home for the Holidays activities, but it died for a lack of a second.

“So I guess with that being said that would mean we’re going to continue with the way it was voted on at the previous meeting,” Schmidt said.