The McArthur Village Council members have agreed to the idea of having a Christmas Parade in the village -- a decision made during their meeting on Wednesday evening, Nov. 18, at the Firefighters Bingo Hall.

The Christmas Parade approved by Council will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5. This parade is not connected with or to be confused with the traditional Christmas in Downtown event, which had been scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12, but was canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns. The Christmas in Downtown event also included a parade.

The council-approved parade is being organized by McArthur resident Randy Yates, who spoke at the meeting. Yates noted this parade is the only event that will be taking place on Dec. 5 and it will start at 4:30 p.m.

Yates pointed out the parade is a way to bring some normalcy into the Yuletide season during a year in which many activities have and are still being canceled. It will also provide some of the businesses with some extra traffic, which was one of the reasons that Christmas in Downtown was started.

Yates stated he put some feelers out and there is interest from several fire departments, some law enforcement agencies, and royalty groups about participating in the parade. The Vinton County High School Marching Band has tentatively agreed to march in the parade as well.

Council member JC Mullins explained the Council is asking all parade participants and the general public watching the parade to wear masks and practice social distancing as the event has to be conducted as safely as possible. The parade approval is conditional and could be reversed based upon any new orders from the governor's office that limit public gatherings.

In other news from the Nov. 18 meeting:

* Council approved Police Chief Matt Kight's request to purchase new flashlights for the police vehicles at $130 each.

* Council approved a request from Street Superintendent John Kirby to put up the village Christmas lights a little early to take advantage of warmer weather.

* Fiscal Officer Janie Fannin explained the village has spent part of its CARES Act funds. Much of the money has been spent on cleaning supplies for the various departments.

Discussion on some issues, including insurance plans and budget concerns, will be continued at a meeting on Friday, Dec. 4 at 10:30 a.m.