City of Exeter passes on Christmas parade due to lack of recreation staff

The city of Exeter passes on their Christmas parade pointing to a laid off recreation department as a result of the pandemic

EXETER – Exeter missed its annual Christmas parade for the second year in a row, and it did not go unnoticed by residents wanting holiday cheer.

Residents lashed out on social media, pointing the finger at the city of Exeter for not marching down Pine Street. Absent were the fire trucks, police vehicles, business sponsored floats, local marching bands and, most of all, Santa. Truth be told, the department in the city of Exeter that normally puts on the entire event, simply doesn’t exist at the moment.

“The main reason for no parade in 2021 is that our [recreation] department is the one that puts it on, and we have no rec department right now,” Exeter city manager, Adam Ennis said.

Ennis said that the city had to lay off the employees in their recreation department because there was nothing for them to do. Prior to the pandemic the city had two full time staff members and a few hourly workers. And fortunately, they may be able to bring some of those positions back in some form.

The direction the city wants to go toward now is hiring a recreation coordinator who will be a full time employee, and then hire a part time recreation leader that would help facilitate programs for the coordinator.

Ennis said that they are gearing up to bring back programs in the spring like softball, baseball and soccer. They hope to continue to provide other seasonal sports programs in the fall and winter as well.

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