Petersburg Christmas parade in jeopardy

PETERSBURG, Va (WRIC) — Petersburg residents and business owners are trying to save the city’s Christmas parade.

Annie Harris, owner of the Commonwealth Dance Arts Academy, told 8News she was informed that the parade was canceled due to a lack of funds. Harris and the girls of the academy perform in the Petersburg Christmas parade every year.

“I went to city hall and I asked to speak at the city council meeting because I was so upset because my kids have been doing the parade for almost six years now,” she said. “They are saying the budget is about $7,000 to pay the officers for that day.”

Dean McCray was in attendance at Tuesday night’s council meeting and heard Harris address council about the issue with the parade. He came and made donation to try to help the city continue a decades-old tradition.

ca4864fa0dde4cf5a0ecadebf7c03c2c“I have pledged $2,500 matching to any donations,” McCray said. “I pledge it because I heard the young lady speak during the citizen’s comment period. It touched my heart that the parade was canceled due to a lack of funds.”

Peterburg Mayor Howard Myers says the administration and council has not made any directive to cancel the event or disappoint the people of Petersburg during the holiday season.

“It would be like the Grinch stole Christmas.”

“It would be very disappointing. It would be like the Grinch stole Christmas,” McCray added.

City officials say the Ricky Johnson and Friends Foundation submitted an application to takeover the parade. The special events committee is set to make a decision Thursday.