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Alabama cities canceling Christmas parades as pandemic rages

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Part of the holiday season will be missing in some Alabama cities this year as officials cancel Christmas parades because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cities of Birmingham and Anniston called off their parades in recent days as caseloads and hospitalizations increase across the state. The cities of Bessemer, Gadsden and Madison were among those that previously called off their Christmas parades citing safety concerns over the virus.

Some places are still planning events like tree lightings that residents can watch online, and other places are creating alternative events.

Hartselle plans a contest in which residents can compete for prizes by decorating their homes. Tuscaloosa announced a “reverse” parade in which people can stay in their cars and drive past decorated floats in a park, but organizers canceled it citing low participation.

Cases of COVID-19 are increasing rapidly across the state as a new wave of illness sweeps across much of the nation.

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