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Noblesville faces backlash over changes to the 2022 Holiday Parade

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Noblesville Christmas Parade will be back after a hiatus during the pandemic but it will look different than prior years.

This parade will run along the traditional route in Noblesville but the participants will be community groups and nonprofits, businesses will not be allowed to enter. The multi-day Santa Tour will continue as well.

Heather Jones, Noblesville, said, “I cried. I was really heartbroken, cause like I said I was a single parent for so long I couldn’t really take my kids to go do anything I worked all the time.”

Jones is one of many Noblesville residents who are against the recent changes to the holiday parade. When it was unsafe to gather during the pandemic the town did a Santa Tour through the neighborhoods; this year the plan was to continue that instead of the parade but after residents spoke out the town brought the modified parade.

Jen Mogg, Noblesville, said, “Why partial? What’s the point of partial why does it need to be partial? You know? It’s there’s no reason for it to be half. There’s no reason for it to be partial. It should be full-fledged.”

Mayor Chris Jensen commented on the new plans in a statement sent in a press release to News 8.

“The Home for the Holidays Tour will be back and bigger than ever this year. This tour encompasses a large part of Noblesville, as last year it covered over 110 lane miles. While we have had a route that covered the Downtown Noblesville area in past years, we will be including the traditional downtown parade route this year. The downtown tour also will include not-for-profits and community groups,” he said. “As our community grows, we want to honor our past traditions as well as create new ones for the nearly 70,000 residents who call Noblesville home. We hope this will allow those who wish to see Santa in their neighborhood as well as those who wish to gather with friends and family downtown a great opportunity to do so. We are excited for Santa Claus to spread holiday cheer across Noblesville once again on December 3rd and 4th. The pandemic made us be creative to keep the holiday spirit alive. In the four years prior to the change, organizers saw a decline in parade participants and attendance. By changing the format, we immediately saw larger crowds of enthusiastic residents that really enjoyed the new plan, and we heard positive feedback from many residents who otherwise would not have been able to participate at an offsite location. Each year since, we’ve tried to take Santa and the ‘Home for the Holidays Tour’ to more people and neighborhoods.”

Mayor Chris Jensen

“I’m glad that they’re going to bring something back because then at least we can go and see that,” Jones said.

She says this is a long-standing tradition reaching back to her own childhood.

“Every year I always requested to have the night of the parade off so I could always take my boys to go see it,” said Jones. “I remember growing up and going to the parade and being a part of the parade and I’m kind of heartbroken.”

Some Noblesville residents said they could not participate in this new event.

Savannah Paslay, Noblesville, said, “Well we think it’s disappointing because Santa didn’t come through our neighborhood last year and we felt kinda left out.”

Amayah Paslay, Noblesville, said, “Everyone is upset because it’s not a big thing anymore.”