DERRY — They won't be marching down Broadway with crowds gathering tightly on sidewalks and side streets to watch.

But this year's annual holiday parade in Derry is still on, with a more unique and safe approach to the holidays as the coronavirus pandemic continues on.

The Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce's 34th annual 2020 Nutfield Holiday Parade is set for Saturday, Nov. 28, at 1 p.m. but with a different way of doing things this year.

The traditional parade won't happen, being replaced with a "stationary" event at Pinkerton Academy to help the community ring in the holiday season.

That means all who present floats, marching bands, and the dozens of other traditional marching units will be located and parked at Pinkerton, with the usual parade crowds able to drive by and view the event, safely and without leaving their vehicles.

This year's theme is "Unsung Heroes."

The Derry parade is considered one of the largest parades in southern New Hampshire, drawing more than 80 floats, marching bands, costumed characters and much more to help kick off the holiday season.

For this year's way of hosting the parade, organizers expect the usual participants to still be involved.

Since the pandemic took hold earlier this year, organizations, schools and businesses have found unique and safe ways to welcome customers and supporters.

The Tupelo Music Hall in Derry hosted a successful "drive-in" music series this summer; graduations and special events were also hosted at the Tupelo to keep graduates and spectators safe.

Area schools hosted drive-by teacher and graduate parades and many neighborhoods hosted birthday parades for children to keep everyone socially distanced and safe.

Having the holiday parade take on this new approach will still give all who love the event a chance to support the community and see floats, bands, organizations, clowns, and other festive marching units, all standing in place but still giving a sense of holiday joy to the community, according to the Chamber.

The Chamber and organizers also thank Pinkerton for offering their space for the event.

Participation in the parade is free for area businesses, nonprofits and other organizations. Groups wanting to enter a float, performance unit, or other parade entry must complete an online registration biography form by Friday, Nov. 20. Visit the Chamber's events calendar to register at gdlchamber.org.

And while participation in the parade is free for businesses, community nonprofits and other organizations, longtime parade chairman Steve Dente said the annual event could see costs exceeding $10,000.

"To make this community event a reality, the Chamber's Parade Committee seeks financial support from the community," Dente said.

Parade sponsorship opportunities and benefits can be found by emailing Chamber President Ashley Haseltine at ashley@gdlchamber.org

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