Two more iconic events in Columbia have been canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

What was supposed to be the city’s 42nd annual Veterans’ Day parade was called off Monday by the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department.

Shortly after that announcement an even older event, the Carolina Carillon, was canceled, organizers of the holiday parade said in a news release.

The Veterans’ Day parade was canceled “to protect citizens and minimize opportunities to spread COVID-19 in our community,” officials said in a news release.

Although the parade won’t take place, officials said all veterans will be honored with a special observance, according to the release. Information on that commemoration was not made available, but officials said to follow Columbia’s website for future details.

This would have been the 65th Carolina Carillon, which organizers called Columbia’s premier holiday parade. It is the annual kickoff to the holiday season for South Carolina, and a long-standing tradition.

“After weighing our options about this year’s holiday celebration, the risks to the public were too heavy,” Carillon committee chairman Michael Sumter said in the release. “I was extremely saddened, but the committee worked jointly to make the tough, but right, decision.”

The date for next year’s Carolina Carillon has been set for Dec. 4, 2021.

The parades join a list of many iconic events in Columbia and the Midlands that have been scrapped this year. They join the South Carolina State Fair, the Famously Hot New Year celebration, the Columbia Greek Fest, the Okra Strut in Irmo, the Rosewood Crawfish Festival, Indie Grits film festival, Columbia’s annual St. Patrick’s Day festival in Five Points, Camden’s Carolina Cup steeplechase races and the Lexington Wine Walk among other notable events that have been canceled, altered, or held exclusively online because of the ongoing pandemic.


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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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