Christmas cheer may not be the only thing they’ll be spreading.

A North Carolina town has decided to hold its annual Christmas parade — despite health officials urging them to cancel because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Youngsville, a town some 20 miles northeast of Raleigh, is planning a mile-long parade with up to 300 people watching for Saturday, The News & Observer reported.

The town of about 1,800 people has faced repeated warnings from the Franklin County Health Department that local COVID-19 cases are reaching record highs — and the event could help the virus spread.

County health officials say the parade would also violate Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order limiting crowds.

But the warnings have fallen on deaf ears.

Town Manager Phil Cordeiro On Wednesday thanked county officials for their concern but said Youngsville is “confident we can safely hold our event,” the report said.

He said the parade falls under the same First Amendment exemption that allowed protests in Raleigh earlier this year.

Cordeiro also argued that the event was a permitted religious service — because it starts in the parking lot of a church.

“It’s just been a really bad year and we’re trying to do something to lighten people’s spirits and give them a little hope,” Mayor Fonzie Flowers told the newspaper.

“We don’t want it to be a situation where people don’t feel safe.”

While some on the town’s Facebook page hailed the decision as joyful and defiant, others worried the parade could become a super-spreader event.

“It will absolutely spread,” said Steve Durant, who lives two minutes from the parade route. “The town is thumbing its nose at the state and county.”



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