The Joplin Christmas Parade is officially canceled.

Freeman Health Systems said they cancelled the parade in the best interest of the public safety.

“We are sad to cancel it, but feel citizens are being responsible in their actions by avoiding gathering due to the pandemic,” said Paula Baker, CEO of Freeman Health System. “Those who regularly participated found it difficult to do so because their groups are not meeting

It was a joint decision with Joplin health leaders and the health system.