It’s like The Grinch has already stolen Christmas. The annual Lighted Tractor Parade will not take place in Calistoga this year due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lighted Tractor Parade has been a popular holiday tradition for 25 years, drawing more than 10,000 spectators, young and old, who line Lincoln Avenue at dark, five people deep, to watch 60 or more decked out tractors, police motorcycles, and festive floats created by local organizations.
“There was no way for us to meet the state’s understandable limits on crowds. We are planning an alternative program that includes tractors, but no parade,” said Bruce Kyse, executive director of the Calistoga Chamber of Commerce.
It’s a triple whammy for the town, as the city last week also announced the cancellation of the Homecoming and Halloween Parades this year.
The Lions Club, which has hosted the Halloween Parade for more than 25 years, along with other local organizations including the Boys & Girls Club, and UpValley Family Centers are pulling together to provide a drive-thru event for the Oct. 31 holiday, City Manager Mike Kirn said at the Sept. 15 City Council meeting.
Last year’s Halloween Parade was nearly canceled due to the proximity of the Kincade Fire. An advisory evacuation order had been issued for the town a week earlier, and just hours after the order was lifted on Oct. 31, Calistogans in costumes poured into downtown for the annual Halloween Parade.