DERRY — The coronavirus pandemic has stalled a popular holiday event in town.
The Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce has canceled the annual Nutfield holiday parade, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 28. The announcement came after the printing of our holiday section, found with this paper.
The Chamber posted the cancelation on social media.
“After careful consideration, the Chamber and Derry Village Rotary made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event,” according to the statement. “We look forward to seeing you in 2021.”
This would have been the 34th year for the popular parade, that traditionally draws big crowds to the downtown area the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Before the cancellation, Chamber officials had hoped a “stationary” format for this year’s event would work, having traditional parade participants including floats, marching bands and other units be located in Pinkerton Academy’s parking lot for a drive-by style of parade watching.
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.
A parade cancellation is rare in the event’s decades-old history, with one cancellation back in 2015 forced due to heavy rainfall on parade day.
Other communities pitched in that year, including Salem, inviting Derry’s parade participants to march in that town’s annual parade.
The annual “Very Derry” schedule of holiday events is still on for Nov. 28, but with specific safety guidelines in place, including having those wishing to participate register before the event. Call Derry Parks and Recreation for more information at 603-432-6136.
That day also includes support for local businesses as Nov. 28 is also Small Business Saturday. Derry businesses will be supported with special activities, raffles and more during a “Shop Small” event. The downtown Christmas tree will also officially light up that day.
Derry Village Rotarians will also continue the annual tradition of collecting food donations that day.