Bloomsburg Christmas Parade Canceled, Back On

BLOOMSBURG -- A radio station in Bloomsburg canceled the Christmas parade it puts on every year because the station did not have the money. The radio station's owner says this is because many of WHLM's advertisers boycotted the station earlier this year. For many people in Bloomsburg, the Christmas season doesn't start until the town's Parade of Lights, in late November.

"Every year people are excited to go to it. Everyone's like oh the parade is coming up," Kate Pursel said.

But this year, the organizers of the parade canceled it. Radio station WHLM ran the event and blamed its cancellation on a boycott from advertisers earlier this year.

In August, former WHLM personality Dave Reilly attended a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia. Many of the station's advertisers pulled funding from WHLM. The parade's cancellation disappointed people in Bloomsburg.

"When Santa comes to town it's a big deal," Oren Helbok said.

Oren Helbok runs a non-profit gallery in Bloomsburg. He says the parade will now go on, thanks to the positive response from the community. There was a meeting earlier this week to discuss the parade.

"At that meeting, it included people from the downtown. It included business people from the area who had been a part of the parade," Helbok said.

Some businesses, like this coffee shop, are really busy during the parade. Employees are glad to see it's continuing.

"Those are the days that we have a full staff and we bring everybody in and just have a line right out the door," Tristan Stanley said.

Tristan Stanley of Fog and Flame Craft Coffee says from a business perspective, he was disappointed to see the event canceled.

"Festival of Lights is one of our biggest sales days of the year," Stanley said.

"I think it's good that a lot of the other people in town have stepped in to not let the tradition die. I think a lot of people will be happy that it's back," Kate Pursel said.

This year's parade will be called "Bloomsburg Lights up the Night". It is set for November 24th, at 6pm.

1 Comment

  • warningfakenews

    So, they wanted to boycott the radio station, but they didn’t want to lose out on the money they had coming in because of what the station organized, so they’ve booted the station and organized it themselves? Seems like that was the need behind the name change. Joe finds out what it’s like to be a conservative in a liberal college town.

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