Update on Winter Activities for the Community from the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce
Tree Lighting Canceled
Due to the Emergency Order issued Sunday, November 15, 2020, the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce has canceled the Tree Lighting. The City of Saline is still putting up a tree, but caroling and gathering in the traditional group format at the corner of Michigan Avenue has been canceled for this year. The students at Washtenaw Christian Academy and Bemis Farms Preschool and Childcare have been busy making ornaments so we welcome the schools to put those ornaments on the tree on their own schedule.
45th Annual Winter Parade Canceled
With heavy hearts, we at the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce announce that the Winter Parade will not be taking place this year.
The Emergency Order issued on Sunday, November 15, 2020, by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, among other things, caps the maximum size of outdoor gatherings at twenty-five persons. The stationary parade that had been planned was the best option to keep interaction between unrelated parade watchers to a minimum. The number of parade participants and volunteers, however, is more than twenty-five. Even if the parade consisted of floats only, with no music and no live participants, the event still requires more than twenty-five volunteers to gather together.
The Chamber wants to thank those individuals and groups who have volunteered, whether to direct traffic, set up, or do any of the hundreds of other little things that make events like the parade possible. Also, we are grateful that the community embraced the idea of the stationary Winter Parade. We had planned a different announcement for today: participation was looking so great that we were going to have to stop accepting entries for floats, as we had run out of space. A special thanks to several groups who were going to be first-time participants this year; we’re very sorry about this, but we look forward to your participation in the future.
The Chamber also wants to stress the importance of compliance with the Emergency Order and staying safe. While these three-week restrictions will no doubt be painful, they represent the best judgment of public health experts and leaders regarding how to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chamber has resources for its member businesses to weather the storm; please contact the Chamber offices to discuss them. If the Saline community shows the same community spirit that was so apparent in the enthusiasm for the stationary parade, we can come through these restrictions together.
Finally, it’s important to stress that this is in no way the end of the Winter Parade. The grocery raffle is still ongoing, thanks to our wonderful sponsor, Busch’s Fresh Food Market. While tickets can’t be sold at Busch’s, tickets can be purchased at the Chamber offices, Schmerberg Law, Farmer’s Insurance, and from request by Lions Club members. The parade has been a part of Saline’s holiday season for 44 years, and it will be in the future. The 45th parade will just have to wait until 2021.
Luke Schmerberg, BOD President-Elect
Jackie Hardy, Executive Director