COVID-19 cancels Christmas traditions in Green Cove Springs

Green Cove Springs is cancelling its traditional fall and winter events. These events typically bring more than 1,000 people to Spring Park and downtown every year. News4Jax reporter Lena Pringle is live in the studio.

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – Green Cove Springs is canceling its' traditional fall and winter events.

These events typically bring more than 1,000 people to Spring Park and downtown every year.

The city of Green Cove Springs says this decision to cancel wasn’t made lightly.

The city credits the cancellations to a lack of fundraising opportunities that were canceled for the past several months because of the pandemic.

“If you can’t do fundraisers, you can’t hold the events. We couldn’t do fundraisers because those things weren’t open,” says Kimberly Thomas, Green Cove Springs Event Coordinator.

The City of Green Cove Springs posted an announcement to its Facebook Tuesday, stating the annual Trunk or Treat, Christmas on Walnut Street, and Christmas Parade are officially canceled.

Fundraising, planning complications, and COVID-19 led the city to make what they feel is the best decision for the city and its residents.

However, the city received backlash from residents, several leaving comments under the post expressing their disapproval of the city’s decision.

“I think the residents need to know it breaks my heart too. The employees aren’t happy with these decisions. Council doesn’t take them lightly. We can say all day that we’re doing it for the benefit of the residents for health and safety and it’s true. But it’s also we’re trying to spend the city’s time and money in a reasonable way, you know? And we’re trying to think about you know the vendors that are involved. Hundreds are involved that could potentially use money,” said Thomas.

While these traditional events are canceled, the city still plans to celebrate the fall and holidays.

Instead of an in-person event, the city will create a virtual veterans day video.

This video will feature local veterans sharing the time they served in the US military and will be played on the city’s website and social media pages on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020.

Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds is interviewing local veterans for this video through Thursday, October 22.

Local veterans interested in participating can schedule an interview time at 904-297-7054 or

The City’s annual Parade of Trees will still go on as planned from December 5th to the 31st.

Every evening there will be 130 decorated Christmas trees lit until 10 p.m. for the public to walk through Spring Park at their own pace.

And a new event - Letters to Santa will happen from December 1st through the 15th.

Keep an eye out for a red mailbox in the pool pavilion, that is where families can drop off their letters to Santa.

Families also have the option to mail the letter to City Hall, make sure to leave a return address so Santa can write back.

More information will be posted on the City website and social media in November.

Things will look different this year, but the city says they are working to make next year’s events safe and fun and it looks forward to resuming major annual events soon.