Even the coronavirus pandemic can't be the Grinch of the 2020 Festival of Lights Parade in Colorado Springs thanks to help from The Broadmoor World Arena.

Instead of canceling another iconic Pikes Peak region event during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Festival of Lights Parade will follow social distancing measures by flipping the format this year. Spectators will be the moving parts while the parade's displays stay put.

This year, spectators in the safety and warmth of their cars will drive through the parade in the Broadmoor arena's parking lot. Time-reserved tickets are required to limit congestion and will be available from the arena for free.

“We are really excited to have come up with a workable solution to continue our annual celebration of the holidays,” Jeff Wilson, Festival of Lights board chair, said in a news release. “We believe people are hungry for celebration and connection and will be ready to view the Parade in this new format.

“The Broadmoor World Arena has come through for us, helping us map out a safe and functional route and plan for the Parade,” executive director Terry Collinson said in the news release. “We are excited to begin accepting entries for the 2020 event.”

For more than three decades, the festival has illuminated downtown Colorado Springs as floats, dancers, bands, and Santa parade along Tejon Street, which is filled with 60,000 to 80,000 spectators ready to kick off the Christmas season.

“It starts people’s Christmas season in a positive way,” executive director Terry Collinson told The Gazette last year. “It’s a way for people to get into the Christmas spirit.”

Last year, there were nearly 100 units in the parade led by Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

RELATED: Colorado Springs' biggest holiday events, light displays and parades

For parade entries this year, the overall number will be limited this year. Entrants are encouraged to submit their applications early and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To submit an application to participate in the parade, visit www.coloradospringsfestivaloflights.com.



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