Grafton cancels Christmas parade, announces 'Home for the Holidays' celebration

NOW: Grafton cancels Christmas parade, announces ’Home for the Holidays’ celebration

GRAFTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Grafton Chamber of Commerce has decided not to hold its annual Christmas parade the Saturday after Thanksgiving this year. Officials decided against holding the 40-year tradition in the best interest of the health and safety of the thousands of people that typically come to the parade every year.

I know that some of the area chambers are struggling with how do you maintain those traditions in the best interest of health and safety." said Grafton Chamber of Commerce executive director Pam King.

The Grafton chamber developed a new celebration including a village-wide house decorating contest, a cookie recipe book and virtual visits with Santa.

"I think we have come up with some really great alternatives to keep people engaged, using our theme, home for the holidays, saying that it's not that bad to be home for the holidays because we've got some great things planned for them." said King.

Below is the press release announcing the events:


                                The GACC Announces its “Home for the Holidays” Campaign

            Commemorative Parade Video, Virtual Visit with Santa, Holiday Cookbook and more will be unveiled

The Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce (GACC) Board of Directors and Holiday Events Committee, are excited to announce its “Home for the Holidays” Campaign. Grafton’s 2020 Holiday Events will provide alternatives to our traditional in-person activities including the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, Breakfast with Santa and the Grafton Christmas Parade. “This year, our board and the committee feel that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is in the best interest of our community to create unique and enjoyable experience that promotes the safety and wellbeing of our residents,” said Mary Karnitz, Chamber Board President.

The GACC is kicking off the Grafton Home for the Holidays- Home Decorating Contest. Grafton residents can register to participate in this event designed to light up our neighborhoods and bring our community together while staying apart. Families will win great prizes for their festive holiday displays. On Sunday, November 22nd, 2020, a panel of judges will tour Grafton and determine winners of the decorating competition. The People’s Choice Awards will be determined via online by residents. All the proceeds raised from this competition will be used to help fund the GACC Scholarships. 

Additionally, the GACC is eager to start a new tradition to celebrate the holidays in Grafton through the creation of a Community Holiday Cookie/Dessert book. Residents, prominent community leaders and local celebrities will be invited to submit recipes, along with at least two pictures of their desserts, to the Chamber by no later than Monday, November 3rd, 2020. The book will be available for purchase through the GACC starting on Monday, November 30th, 2020.

This year, Virtual Visits with Santa will be held in lieu of the Breakfast with Santa event. The Virtual Visits with Santa are proudly sponsored by Cornerstone Community Bank and will be held on Saturday, November 28th, 2020, with possible future dates added as needed. Families will be able to register for visits that will include time to talk with Santa live from his workshop office and a photo for each child. “Cornerstone is happy to sponsor Virtual Visits with Santa this year,” said Paul Foy, President of Cornerstone Community Bank. “We know it would be impossible to hold Breakfast with Santa the way we usually do. Kids wait all year for the chance to tell Santa their Christmas wishes, and to be able to offer this alternative will hopefully create happy, holiday memories for many local families.”

According to Chamber Executive Director Pam King, “The Grafton Christmas Parade is one of the premiere events in our community and while we are disappointed to have to cancel this year’s parade, we are especially excited to present the a ‘Home for The Holidays’ Commemorate Parade Video, which will look back at more than 35 years of our amazing event.” The video will be released on YouTube at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 28th, 2020 for viewing. You can still carry on your family’s tradition of watching our parade on the Saturday after Thanksgiving; it will be in the comfort of your own home. DVDs of the video will then be available for purchase through the GACC starting Monday, November 30th, 2020. 

Finally, the GACC is proud to provide a Home for The Holidays Giftset that will include the parade special DVD, popcorn, the community holiday cookbook and a coupon book filled with fabulous deals from area businesses. “This specially crafted set is a perfect holiday gift for loved ones in your life that enjoy supporting our Chamber members and local businesses,” said King. Additional details on the Home for The Holidays campaign will be released as they become available, at our website:


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