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Lump of Coal Could Replace Fayetteville Christmas Parade

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FAYETTEVILLE — For more than 20 years, the Christmas Parade has traveled down Hay Street in DowntownFayetteville. This year, it looks as if Santa Claus will not be coming to town, at least not for a Christmas Parade.

Michelle Foust went to the Christmas Parade with her family when she was young. For the last four years, she has taken her children.

"It's good family fun, and I have a teenaged son who marches with the local band. We really enjoy going to see the bands. It's a good time for the family," said Foust.

This year, the grinch is stealing Christmas at Fayetteville's Parade.

The city says they are more than willing to help with the logistics, but they do not have the money or staff to plan the huge undertaking.

"Resources only go so far. We committed to sponsoring the Veterans Parade in early November," said Jason Brady, City Public Information Officer.

For years, the event was planned by theFayetteville Partnership. It gave it up two years ago to focus on economic development.

The city played Santa and agreed to take it over temporarily. It asked the Chamber of Commerce to take charge, but they declined. No other group has stepped forward.

The prospect of no parade is not only disappointing to parade goers but also to parade participants. Fred Guyton and the Sudan Hillbillies have entertained spectators for years.

"The pleasure we get out of it is seeing the joy children get out of it and even adults," said Guyton.

City leaders say there is so much work involved that if a group does not come forward now to plan the parade, they would never have enough time to pull it off.

The city is making plans to ensure Santa pays a visit downtown. He will appear in the Veterans Day Parade Nov. 11 to usher in the season.


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