Perry Chamber launches Holiday Light Contest in place of Lighted Parade and Holiday Celebration

Submitted by Perry Chamber of Commerce
The DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Academy float in the Lighted Holiday Parade in 2019.

Perry’s Lighted Parade & Holiday Celebration have been canceled due to the latest event and gathering restrictions set by Gov. Kim Reynolds to slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes the lighted parade, activities with Santa at La Poste following the parade and all additional activities previously scheduled to coincide with the evening’s festivities on the day after Thanksgiving. While these activities which traditionally kick-off the holiday season in Perry will not occur this year, plans for holiday cheer are in the works as an alternative.

“There really was not much of a choice when it came to canceling the Lighted Parade, especially given the time frame for developing any sort of adjustments or alternatives,” explained Lynsi Pasutti, Executive Director of the Perry Chamber of Commerce. “Instead, we are working on some things that we hope the community will get involved with during the upcoming holiday season to make up for this change of plans.”

In the Nov. 16 proclamation, Reynolds, in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, ordered any and all social, community, business, or leisure gatherings of more than 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors to be prohibited through Dec. 10.

“The public health and safety of the community remains the top priority for community leaders and activity organizers when making decisions this year,” Pasutti said. “So while not ideal when it comes to our beloved annual traditions, cancellations are in the best interest of the general public.”

In light of the parade cancellation, the Perry Chamber will launch a Holiday Lighting & Decoration Contest with two categories and prizes for each. Beginning Friday, Nov. 27 through Friday, Dec. 18, both residents and businesses may submit photos of their own holiday lights and decorations by tagging @PerryAreaChamber and #PerryHolidayLights on Facebook or Instagram. Entries will also be accepted via email to PerryChamber@PerryIA.org. Individuals can nominate entries by doing the same. Judging will follow and prizes will be awarded the week of Dec. 21.

Brothers, from left, James, Josh and Jackson Glick pose for a photo with Santa at La Poste in 2019. Santa will be at the Hotel Pattee from 5-7 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 12.

Plans for alternative Santa sightings and North Pole letter drop offs are still in the works and will be announced at a later date. Additionally, a Christmas Eve Jingle is set to take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24. Community members are invited to step outside – minding social distancing guidelines – wherever they are to ring a bell for two minutes at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve in order to spread Christmas spirit and help Santa’s sleigh fly later that night.

Any businesses, organizations or individuals interested in helping with these holiday initiatives should contact the Perry Chamber of Commerce at PerryChamber@PerryIA.org or (515) 465-4601.