Mayor Fonzie Flowers of Youngsville, North Carolina, said that the town will move ahead with the annual Christmas parade despite statewide COVID-19 restrictions, according to the News Observer.
The annual Youngsville Christmas parade is scheduled for Dec. 5. The event is in violation of Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order banning outdoor gatherings greater than 50 people, and specifically prohibits mass gatherings such as parades, the News Observer reported. (RELATED: AG Barr: Besides Slavery, National Coronavirus Lockdown Is The ‘Greatest Intrusion On Civil Liberties’)
The mayor of Youngsville in North Carolina said he’s confident the town can have a safe parade while social distancing and wearing masks. But parades are a violation of North Carolina’s executive order. https://t.co/xRNEXXhnTJ
— Durham Herald-Sun (@TheHerald_Sun) December 4, 2020
Flowers addressed the citizens of Youngsville in a 4 minute plus video which included warnings of staying home if sick or at risk and visuals regarding proper mask wearing and social distancing.
The parade route is approximately 1 mile in length and there are about 300 on-lookers expected to show up according to the Hill. Flowers stated that the parade is safer than that of having large groups of people inside of a grocery or big box store, the News Observer reported. “If our state’s health guidelines allow over 2,000 people to be in a 4-acre Walmart at the same time, we believe it’s safe to have a fraction of that number along our outdoor parade route,” Flowers stated.
In an email to county officials, the Town Manager Phil Cordeiro, argued that holding the parade gives them the same First Amendment protection that was given to protesters in Raleigh earlier in the year.