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The Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce is making alterations to the Thanksgiving Day celebration in town this year due to safety concerns and restrictions related to COVID-19. Instead of the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, the holiday will be marked by a new event, the 2020 Parade of Thanksgiving, a food drive to support Extended Hands Food Bank.

The Fountain Hills Chamber is encouraging its members and local community members to donate a turkey to the food bank, as it is reported a total of more than 300 turkeys are needed to feed Fountain Hills families in need each Thanksgiving.

The decision to pivot from the traditional Thanksgiving Day Parade format to the food drive is in response to a survey the Chamber made available asking people to give feedback about if they would participate in a parade during this unique year. The survey responses indicated that a lack of participation in registrations was to be expected, with a fraction of estimated registrations compared to years past. Comments in the survey stated that the unknown nature of COVID-19 restrictions for November was the main reason for people not wanting to register an entry in the parade this year.

“Of course we are sad about not having the regular Thanksgiving Day Parade plans for 2020, but Thanksgiving is always a time to show our gratitude.” said Paige Lorentzen, the Chamber’s events and marketing manager. “The Parade of Thanksgiving is the perfect way for the Chamber and our members to say thank you to the Fountain Hills community for their continued support of local businesses during this difficult year.”

More information on the Parade of Thanksgiving will be made available to the community soon. The Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce would like to thank those who weighed in on the 2020 Parade plans via the survey and are looking forward to releasing more information about the Parade of Thanksgiving in the coming weeks.