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'This is a real loss': Springfield residents mourn Christmas parade, seek alternatives

Thousands line the street and wait for the 63rd Annual Sprigfield Christmas Parade to start Saturday, Dec. 5, in Springfield, Ore. Photo by Claire Aubin.

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The Springfield Christmas Parade has kicked off the Christmas season in downtown Springfield every year since 1953.

But this year, organizers say there just weren't enough volunteers to make it happen. They hope enough people will step forward to resurrect the parade in 2018.

The news disappointed people in Springfield.

"I feel really bad about it," Apollo Dennis said. "I think they should have it because the way things are right now, people need enjoyment, and kids - this is one things the kids need."

For some people, watching the parade has been a family tradition for generations.

"It's something that families look forward to every year, and kids look forward to it every year," said Monica Compton.

Compton started a campaign on Facebook to organize a smaller Christmas celebration instead.

"Something is better than nothing," she said.

Business owners said the parade has been good for commerce.

"This is a real loss," said Denise Pourman, who has owned Bright Oak Meats downtown for more than a decade. "People, when they watch the parade downtown, will stop in. Sometime it's for warmth. Sometimes they'll find all of the new odd things that they've never seen or didn't know were even available that the local community raises."

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