Portland cancels 60-year-old Christmas parade - WKRN News 2

Portland cancels 60-year-old Christmas parade

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PORTLAND, Tenn. – The annual Christmas parade in Portland, in northern Sumner County, has been canceled after only 12 organizations expressed an interest in participating.

Amy Wald, president of the Portland Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the parade, told News 2 "that's just not enough entries to make a parade."

Churches, schools and some businesses have sponsored floats in the past.

There were 30 participants last year and Wald believes the drop this year may be due to the economy.

"That's one thing I'm hearing," she said.  "People just don't have the resources like they have had in the past to put floats together."

Wald said the majority of entries she received this year were churches.

While the majority of Portland residents didn't seem bothered by the cancellation, others disagreed.

"Lack of interest!?!" exclaimed Jenna Crafton upon hearing the parade had been scrapped.  "Everybody lines the street for those parades."

"I think it's very important, especially to the kids," added Brooke Capps.  "They look forward to it and this is a small community, not everybody wants to travel to Nashville."

The decision to cancel the Portland parade was made earlier this week.

A decision on next year's parade will be made next November.

Wald said she hopes to find support and is already hearing ideas on how to make it more interesting to businesses and residents.

There is no entry fee to enter a float in the Portland parade.

The city will still light its Christmas tree Thursday night and Santa Claus will greet children downtown this weekend as scheduled.

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