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There's still hope for a Webster holiday parade

The Webster Emergency Responder Council is planning a COVID-safe holiday event

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Photo Credit: Webster Herald Facebook Page

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Webster, NY - The Webster Emergency Responder Council is planning a COVID-safe variation of the holiday parade for the first weekend of December, replacing the “Parade of Lights” that traditionally takes place during the village’s “White Christmas” event.


“White Christmas” has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was presumed that there would be no parade either.


However, Syed Ahmed Mustafa, chairman of the Webster Emergency Responder Council and also the president of Webster EMS and Northeast Quadrant Advanced Life Support (NEQALS), announced that he is coordinating with fellow first responders a way to “resurrect” the holiday parade.


Mustafa introduced the idea to the Webster Village Board of Trustees at their Oct. 22 board meeting. He explained that a static parade route, with first responder and participating town and village vehicles decorated in Christmas lights, will be staged in a Xerox-owned parking lot.


Local business vendors from the Webster Business Improvement District (BID) and the Webster Chamber of Commerce will be staged along the route as well.


People would stay in their cars and “serpentine” in and out of the parade route.


Mustafa told the Village Board that cars will be directed through a large parking lot located off of Phillips Road. That will be the “visitor staging area.” Visitors will enter from the north and exit through the southwest exit of the lot. They will continue down the main Xerox driveway (down to San Jose Drive) and make a right hand turn, where there will be another large parking lot. Mustafa says they want to use this particular lot because it is well-lit, making it safer.


Once visitors are ready to leave, they will exit out the southwest corner of the lot.


Mustafa says the Chamber and BID are already on board, as are Xerox, the West Webster Fire Department, the Webster Police Department, the Special Police, NEQALS and WEMS, and the town sewer and highway departments. Village departments are invited to participate as well.


“I think it’s a great way to get the community out of the house in December,” said Mustafa. He also believes it will give Webster businesses the opportunity to re-engage with the community.


The event is slated for Dec. 5 from 4 to 8 p.m. Mustafa says there will be a 3-4 p.m. time slot reserved for special needs organizations only, during which there will be increased safety measures and no flashing lights. The event is still in the early planning stages, so more details are likely forthcoming.

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