Traditional Rhinelander holiday parade canceled - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Traditional Rhinelander holiday parade canceled

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RHINELANDER (WAOW) -- The official downtown Christmas tree in Rhinelander has been lit. That usually takes place following a holiday parade, but not this year.

The parade was canceled due to a lack of interest.

The parade started about five years ago, along with a tree-lighting ceremony, as a way to kick-off the winter holiday season.

"It started off as a very small parade. It was just a couple community members who got things going with it," said Dana DeMet, the director of the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce.

People say the parade was a tradition.

"A lot of people show up. Rain or shine or blizzard," said Jennine Karaba, the assistant manager at Fantastic Sams hair salon in Rhinelander. "There's always a lot of people."

But this year, only seven organizations signed up to be in the parade.

"You're around the holidays and you have a lot of people with other commitments," explained DeMet.

So organizers canceled the parade.

"It's unfortunate because it is nice to see people come out and support the local community," said Adam Johnson, a firefighter and paramedic at the Rhinelander Fire Department.

The Rhinelander Fantastic Sams has been in the parade for the past two years. Workers were excited to ride through the city on their newly decorated float.

"We were going to do Rudolf, the reindeer, and the sleigh," said Karaba.

The Rhinelander Fire Department was also in the parade line-up.

"It's always nice seeing the smiling faces and the town come out," said Johnson. "It's unfortunate."

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