Winter Park Resort cancels traditional Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade |

Winter Park Resort cancels traditional Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade

Winter Park Resort's Torchlight Parade has been a Christmas Eve tradition for 42 years. This the first time it will be canceled.
Courtesy Carl Frey

Winter Park Resort has canceled the 42nd annual Torchlight Parade on Christmas Eve because of pandemic concerns.

Resort spokesperson Jen Miller said it was a difficult decision, but Winter Park felt there was no way to safely host the event this year.

“We looked at a whole bunch of different ways to try and make it work, but every single one of them involved people gathering, and we can’t have that this year, unfortunately,” Miller said.

This is the first time in the parade’s history that it has been canceled, though Miller said there was a year in the 1970s that the resort didn’t open until after Christmas, so there was no event that season.

With current pandemic regulations, the resort doesn’t plan to host any events this season, instead focusing on creating opportunities for individual celebrations.

The resort will still be coated in festive decorations, as well as have a traditional tree, Miller added. There will also be plenty of spots to make holiday memories, including new postcard photo cutouts.

“We are doing a few other activations in the village to create that holiday festive environment,” she said. “There are some holiday scenes that will be around the village.”

Winter Park Resort has also shared its guest guidelines for the upcoming season, as well as COVID-19 protocols, including requiring guests to wear masks when in lines, on lifts, interacting with employees, inside or when six feet of distance can’t be maintained.

Miller said though the season will definitely look different, there will still be plenty of ways to enjoy the resort.

“It’s going to be the year to be creative,” she said.

An exact opening date still hasn’t been announced, though Miller did say snowmakers have been turned on when weather allows. Previously, Winter Park said it would open no earlier than Nov. 30.

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