PIQUA — The staff and volunteers with Mainstreet Piqua are learning plenty about flexibility, creativity, safety, and state regulations as they plan events for the remainder of 2020 and into spring of 2021.
“I don’t need to tell you about COVID — we’ve all seen enough of it by now,” said Mainstreet Piqua Executive Director Lorna Swisher. “We are working hard to balance the community’s desire to have fun, interesting, and family-friendly social activities — with the requirements of distance, safety, and compliance to state mandates. It has been quite a challenge.”
There are six events on the calendar that are under review. Some of these downtown events will go on as scheduled, with some adaptations.
The annual Chocolate Walk will be held on Friday, Oct. 9. The Chocolate Walk is a ticketed event, with participants making their way to selected businesses to pick up chocolate treats. This year, the hours of the event have been extended to 3- 8 p.m. This longer window of time will allow participants to pick up their goodie bags with less congestion in the stores during the event. Tickets for this popular event are almost sold out and the event will continue with modifications.
Mainstreet Piqua is required to cancel both the Oct. 17 Harvest Days event and early December’s Christmas on the Green, due to current Ohio Department of Health regulations that limit the number of people in an area, and prohibit parades, festivals, and carnivals.
The current guidelines would also prohibit the popular Downtown Piqua Holiday Horse Parade, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11. Currently, the Holiday Horse Parade is not canceled, but a final decision will be made in October — in hopes that the state regulations will be changed to allow this event to continue.
“The Holiday Horse Parade is one of our favorite events. I’m just not ready to give up on it,” Swisher said. “If it comes down to it, safety is always our first priority — and we may be able to work some social-distancing magic — but we’ll just have to wait and see at this point. Fingers crossed!”
The running and walking community will be glad to know that the popular Holly Jolly 5K/10K run will still be held on Saturday, Dec. 12 on the Piqua PATH. Registration will be available soon on www.cantstoprunningco.com and at the Municipal Government Complex on the morning of Dec. 12.
The downtown Piqua Holiday Parade, which is always held on the Saturday after Christmas on the Green is being re-engineered this year. Instead of a traditional parade downtown, this will instead be a reverse parade held at Piqua High School. In a reverse parade, all the parade units are stationary on the sidewalk, and residents drive past in their personal vehicles. This allows the annual event to be accomplished in a socially distant way, while maintaining the spirit of the holiday event. Details on how to participate in the reverse parade will be coming soon.
“We’ve created an Alternative Events Committee of volunteers, which is working hard to make sure that even in tough times, Piqua can still be festive. The list of possible new events being explored is long. Look for exciting updates to come,” Swisher said.
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