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Christmas Ships parade to go on as planned

Organizers of the longtime Portland event hope to "offer some form of normalcy in such an abnormal time."

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Christmas Ships parade has been a local tradition in Portland for 66 years and the ships will once again light the Columbia and Willamette rivers this Christmas season.

The parades will start Friday, Dec. 4 and end Tuesday, Dec. 22. There will be four nights off, so check schedules for the Columbia River parade and the Willamette River parade.

"We're excited to continue the parade this year and offer some form of normalcy in such an abnormal time," the organizers of the event wrote on their website. "Our lighted boat parade is an event that people can enjoy and view safely this holiday season. Even if you just catch a glimpse of us on the water while driving, we hope we brighten your evening."

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be some changes to the festivities to assure the safety of crews and observers.

The meet-and-greet events on Dec. 19 have been canceled. In addition, the dock will be closed to the public this year. In years past, the public was often invited onto the dock to see the boats up close.

The organizers of the event also urge people to follow COVID-19 guidelines, including leaving plenty of space between spectators and wearing a mask.

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