COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Hundreds gathered this afternoon for the 81st annual Jefferson City Jaycees Christmas Parade in downtown Jefferson City. Despite the current pandemic, the Jefferson City Jaycees organization decided the show must go on.
This annual Christmas parade is a tradition for the capital of Missouri and has become a family tradition for citizens all across the county to come and celebrate. Dozens of floats and acts filled the streets of downtown this afternoon, as parade participants waved and threw candy out to the crowd.
Though COVID is a threat to the county, the parade did not seem to follow COVID safety guidelines. Masks were worn by some participants of the parade floats and acts, but not everyone wore a mask or social distanced. Dozens of groups of family and friends gathered around the streets of downtown to watch the parade. Some people had on masks as they attended the parade, but the majority of the crowd did not wear masks. There were no signs of social distancing at the event.
The Jefferson City Police Department stated on their Facebook page they advised social distancing, "We would like to remind everyone attending the parade that we anticipate the need for social distancing..."
Cole County does not have a mask mandate, but a mask advisory is in effect county wide. Cole County has experienced an increase in COVID cases over the last few weeks. As of Thursday, Cole County had reported 5,962 COVID cases and 67 COVID-related deaths.
The Cole County Health Department will host a free COVID testing event Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residents are advised to register online.