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St. James Parish cancels 2020 Christmas Eve bonfires on the levee

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St. James Parish officials announced they canceled the annual Christmas Eve bonfires on the levee. 

The parish announced Wednesday the fires will not happen in 2020.  Officials confirmed the decision nearly two months after they canceled the parish's annual festival around the celebration. 

In a statement, Parish President Peter Dufrene said St. James' high COVID-19 positivity rate played a large role in the cancellation. 

You can read the full announcement below.

After long consideration and consultation with state and local agencies, the Unified Command Group in St. James Parish has made the difficult decision to cancel the lighting of the bonfires on Christmas Eve.

Over the last several weeks the Unified Command Group has met to determine all possible alternatives for safely continuing with this tradition, however, the latest announcement earlier today of a 16.9% positivity rate in St. James Parish has required the cancellation of this event.

Tomorrow, December 10th at 12 pm, Parish President, Pete Dufresne will host a Facebook Live discussion to address in more detail how this decision was made as well as permit refunds and deconstructing of previously built bonfires. If you have not yet built your bonfire, we ask that you do not continue with construction.

This was by no means an easy decision to make as this tradition is long standing and special to our community in particular. We understand this has been an extremely difficult year for many of us and we have hoped for a sense of normalcy in the Christmas season especially, however we must first and foremost protect the heath, safety and well-being of our residents.

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