City Council agrees to alter holiday parade route

A Town of Watertown firefighter hands out candy ahead of their engine in the Christmas parade last December in downtown Watertown. Kara Dry/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Holiday revelers will be celebrating the city’s Christmas tree lighting with a new parade route in December.

On Monday night, the City Council informally agreed to change the parade route so that it heads down Washington Street, with the tree lighting to take place in front of Watertown City Hall.

The new route will be along Washington Street, from Winslow Street to Stone Street, the same one used during the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Senior city planner Jennifer Voss said the route change was prompted by suggestions that the parade should be longer.

“I’m OK with trying something new,” Councilwoman Sarah V. Compo Pierce said.

The new route will avoid a $4 million streetscape project on Court Street, which will be under construction during the holidays.

But Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith said he doesn’t see a need for a change, adding that it should remain along Public Square. He doesn’t think there’s enough room for parade-goers to gather for the tree lighting.

He also mentioned that Public Square businesses have stayed open just because of the big crowds at the holiday parade.

An existing large evergreen in front of city hall will be used for the ceremonial tree lighting.

The event will be held on a Friday, to allow children to attend without having to deal with going to school the next day.

Staff members also propose discontinuing a display of “dancing” trees and instead using static trees, which would be less of a distraction for passing motorists, a memo to council said. Council members said they like that idea because the city can be more creative with decorating downtown with more static holiday lights.

Funding would be used from the city budget.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment

HotelMike

I have to disagree with the mayor on this.

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