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Gatlinburg Christmas Parade canceled, weather blamed

The parade was supposed to step off Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Friday night's Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade has been canceled.

Organizers cited the rainy weather for the cancellation. It was to start at 7:30 p.m. and wind along the Parkway.

It's a local favorite, typically drawing hundreds of onlookers along the route.

This was to be the 45th annual edition of the parade, which typically includes floats, performers and marching bands.

Some critics had raised concerns about holding the parade as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

"It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the 45th Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. We have done everything possible to create a fun and safe event for the visitors who chose to join us this weekend for the parade. Unfortunately, the persistent rain and falling temperatures have created adverse weather conditions," Friday's statement from the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau reads.

"We feel it is in the best interest of our parade participants and visitors to cancel the parade.