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Springfield Christmas Parade, a community tradition since 1953, canceled for 2017

A young boy meets a service dog at the 63rd Annual Springfield Christmas Parade in Springfield, Ore., Saturday, Dec. 5. Photo by Claire Aubin.

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The 2017 Springfield Christmas Parade has been canceled.

The parade has been part of the community since 1953.

This year's parade was scheduled for December 2.

"The board of the Springfield Community Parade Corporation arrived at this decision with a heavy heart and after much deliberation," wrote Marilee Woodrow, who chairs the parade. "Vital organizational pieces of the parade were losing momentum and volunteers."

It wasn't for a lack of audience: Organizers estimate 10,000 people watched the parade last year.

But Woodrow said parade organizers have worked for the past 5 years to recruit help to put on the parade.

"Print media, e-mails to previous entries, social media and word of mouth has been fruitless in obtaining the volunteer staffing needed to produce the parade. It is a yearlong planning, involvement and commitment effort," she wrote.

The committee will return any entry fees already paid for this year's parade, Woodrow added.

She thanked the community for the support - and hoped for better news next year.

"The tradition has had an awesome reputation with sponsors, community members, and volunteers," Woodrow wrote. "Looking to the future, the parade organizers hope that a parade or holiday celebration in some form might materialize for next year and following. The parade committee invites anyone interested to watch for notice of a re-organizational/brainstorming meeting the early part of 2018 – to continue Springfield’s long and proud heritage of coming together to celebrate the holidays."

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