KINGSPORT — The 2020 Kingsport Christmas Parade has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Downtown Kingsport Association made the announcement Monday afternoon.

“After consulting with local health officials, it has become clear that holding the parade during the COVID-19 pandemic is not in the best interest of the health and safety of our community,” DKA officials said in a news release.

“Thousands of spectators, participants, along with many volunteers, join the Downtown Kingsport Association for the Kingsport Christmas Parade each year. Given the size of this parade and the crowds that gather to enjoy it, there is not a practical way to ensure social distancing.”

The Kingsport Christmas Tree Lighting will be held as a virtual event only on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. Details on viewing this event via live stream will be released at a later date.

“We look forward to celebrating with everyone next year at the Kingsport Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting on Dec. 4, 2021,” DKA officials said.

The Downtown Kingsport Association is a private, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the revitalization of Downtown Kingsport.

The organization’s purpose is to promote Downtown Kingsport as the heart of the community, strengthen its economic viability by encouraging growth and diversity among businesses, and restore its unique history characteristics and beauty.

To learn more about holiday shopping in downtown Kingsport or the Downtown Kingsport Association, visit www.downtownkingsport.org or Downtown Kingsport Association on Facebook and Instagram.