The City of Oviedo decided to nix the holiday parade this year because of limited time to plan the event.
Typically, the event is planned by the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce but the group handed it off to the city with only five groups signed up to march in the parade. The event was originally planned for Dec. 11.
“In order for the Chamber to stay relevant, they need to focus on advocacy, education and connections. Learning through the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, chambers are no longer continuing with parades,” said outgoing Chamber President Bridget Lake. “It ended up being last-minute because no one wants to say no.”
During a City Council work session on Monday night, city staff told Council that they could do it but it might not be up to the city’s standards for events because of the city’s Winter Fest event happening on the same day. The parade usually serves as a kick-off to the city’s Winter Fest (formerly Snow Mountain) event, and features Santa atop a fire truck.
“Could we do it? Yes. Would it be to our standards? That would be our concern,” City of Oviedo Events Manager Sean Fitzgerald said at the work session.
“Could we just see if anyone misses the parade and re-evaluate for next year?” Mayor Megan Sladek asked.
City Manager Bryan Cobb said city staff is talking about making this a community event, inviting the city’s civic groups, local dignitaries and local marching bands.
“Can we make sure we budget for this?” asked Deputy Mayor Bob Pollack about next year, later saying he and his children cherish the long-time city tradition. “I want the wow factor.”
Still longing for a hometown parade? Winter Springs’ Holiday Parade kicks off their Winter Wonderland event from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Winter Springs Town Center. Get more information here.