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Watertown lawmakers ponder changes to Christmas parade

Rerouting the Christmas parade, a drive thru for Chipotle's & a public hearing for Stewart's
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:49 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The city of Watertown is discussing rerouting a holiday tradition.

Monday night some city council members showed support for moving the annual Christmas parade from Public Square to Washington Street.

The plan would also move the tree lighting to the lawn in front of city hall.

Expressing concerns, Mayor Jeff Smith says the square has more room and the route would miss downtown businesses which stay open late for the parade and the large crowd it draws.

City planners say the change would help if construction from the downtown revitalization project is still underway.

They say it could also help get more people to participate.

“Parade participants don’t feel the parade route is long enough to like really put work into creating a float and being a part of the parade,” planner Jennifer Voss said, “so Stan suggested that we move the parade route somewhere different in order to make it a longer route so that is why we have come up with this.”

Voss says Christmas trees would still be put up on the square, but the light show may be toned down.

This year’s parade will be held Friday, December 2.

Meanwhile, the council unanimously approved plans for the Chipotle off Arsenal Street to add a drive thru.

Measures for traffic flow and customer safety within the parking lot will be installed as part of the project.

There’s no timeline for when it will be installed.

The council also set a date for a public hearing on a special use permit for Stewart’s Shops regarding its proposed new gas station at the corner of Flower Avenue East and Washington Street.

It’s needed in order to sell gas at the location, which is zoned as a neighborhood business district.

The hearing will be at city hall at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5.

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