Luray’s Christmas parade could be pushed to Friday, if wintery weather lingers on Thursday

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2020 Christmas parade
In December 2020, Page Co-Op employees portray "Christmas Vacation" during a "reverse parade" during the pandemic.

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Dec. 13 — At Monday night’s meeting, members of the Luray Council discussed alternate plans in case Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate with the Town’s plans to host its annual Christmas Parade at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15.

The previously established rain date for the Main Street event is 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16.

With a projected low of 28 degrees, the National Weather Service is forecasting nearly a 100 percent chance of wintery weather starting on Wednesday night and continuing through Thursday. High temperatures on Thursday are not projected to rise out of the 30s.

Town Manager Steve Burke stated Monday night that “the hope” is that falling weather will stop early enough on Thursday — and not have significant enough accumulations — as to allow the parade to continue on Thursday evening as planned.

However, if the event is pushed back to its “rain date” on Friday, a decision will be made by noon on Thursday and a postponement notice will be issued on social media (the Town’s Facebook page).

Current weather forecasts make the Thursday evening event a 50/50 proposition, at best.

While Wednesday will only be cloudy and reach a high of 43, rain could begin before 11 p.m., with a chance of freezing rain between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., according to localconditions.com

Freezing rain possibly mixed with sleet is then expected after 2 a.m. on Thursday morning. The chance of precipitation is listed at 100 percent, with an overnight low of 28 degrees and ice accumulation up to a half-inch.

On Thursday, freezing rain and sleet, possibly mixed with snow is expected through the morning hours until between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the precipitation will become mostly rain. The chance of precipitation is once again listed at 100 percent on Thursday morning and throughout most of the day, with the high temperature expected to only reach 39 degrees. According to the forecast, the rain could last up to 8 p.m. with a low of 30 expected Thursday night.

A move to Friday evening may ruffle the Town’s plans as they scheduled the annual Christmas dinner for employees and staff that evening at the Mimslyn Inn. Council members said on Monday that everyone involved would simply meet at the dinner as soon as possible after the parade, if it is rescheduled.

One other issue that arose during the discussion of the Christmas parade was its route. Some residents and business owners want to see the parade include West Main Street and start as far back as the Singing Tower, rather than starting at Broad and Main and ending at East Luray Shopping Center at Reservoir Avenue.

Several justifications for the established route were voiced, including the long distance from the Singing Tower to the shopping center for marching bands or groups with small children marching, the creation of large gaps in the parade when it gets stretched out over a long distance, the need for additional police to monitor each intersection, and an overall safety issue put forth by the police department.

For more information, check the Town of Luray’s Facebook page.

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