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Christmas Eve bonfires in St. James Parish canceled due to COVID-19

Posted at 6:35 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 19:35:48-05

The annual Christmas Eve bonfire celebration in St. James Parish has been canceled this year due to rising cases of COVID-19, The Advocate reports.

Parish officials announced the cancellation Wednesday, after their unified command group "tried to find all possible alternatives for safely continuing with this tradition."

The decision was made after Wednesday's data from the Department of Health showed St. James Parish's test positivity rate had nearly doubled and reached 16.9% for the week ending December 2.

Bonfires are set up on both sides of the Mississippi River for miles in a tradition that is said to help light the way for Papa Noel.

"This was by no means an easy decision to make as this tradition is long standing and special to our community in particular," parish officials said Wednesday. "We understand this has been an extremely difficult year for many of us and we have hoped for a sense of normalcy in the Christmas season especially, however, we must first and foremost protect the health, safety and well-being of our residents."

Read more from The Advocate.

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