City of Walker announces cancellation of Christmas events due to COVID-19 restriction changes

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Santa Claus waves to signal the end of the City of Walker’s Annual Christmas Parade in December 2018.
The News file photo

WALKER, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – This year, Santa Claus won’t be coming to the park.

In compliance with new mitigation measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, City of Walker officials announced a cancellation of its traditional Christmas festivities, which include a parade and family activities at Sidney Hutchinson Park.

Among the events to be nixed was “Santa in the Park,” a popular photo opportunity in which children and families can take free pictures with Ole St. Nick.

The announcement came after Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the state would be scaling back to a modified Phase Two, which limits outdoor social gatherings to 150 people. Edwards made the decision after the state’s recent surge in new COVID-19 cases, percent positivity, and hospitalizations.

The new order runs through Dec. 23. 

“In order to comply with the Governor’s current order regarding Phase 2 COVID restrictions in place, there will not be Santa in Park/Christmas Festivities or Christmas parade in Walker this year,” the announcement read.

Walker’s Christmas celebration is one of the annual highlights in the city, with dozens of holiday-themed floats and marchers parading in the area around Walker High. The parade is followed by a family outing at Sidney Hutchinson Park, where there are games, food, activities, and Santa Claus.

This marks the fifth Christmas celebration in Livingston Parish to be cancelled this year, following parades in Albany, Walker, and Denham Springs. In a recent meeting of the Livingston Town Council, members voted unanimously to cancel this year’s Christmas parade.

Edwards and health experts have urged people against attending large gatherings — sometimes deemed “super spreader” events — to limit exposure to the coronavirus, which has killed more than 6,000 Louisianans since March.

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