COVID-19 takes down Wilmington Christmas parade and state bar exam


Santa waves to spectators

Santa’s not parading into Wilmington this year.

Neither is a new class of lawyers flush with the victory of passing their bar exams.

COVID-19 is the Grinch who stole the Wilmington Jaycees cherished holiday tradition and made state courts decide it wasn’t safe to put a bunch of young people in one place for a three-day test.

The Wilmington Jaycees announced Friday that their 57th annual Christmas parade set for Nov. 28 was canceled, and the Supreme Court of Delaware canceled its 2020 in-person bar examination set for Sept 9-11 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds.


 “The Jaycees wanted nothing more than to present a large holiday celebration for the community especially since we’ve all been so isolated for months,” said Josh Hoveln, president of the Wilmington Jaycees, “but uncertainly about the virus tells us that it’s better to make a decision now before any additional time, energy and funding is committed.”

In lieu of the bar exam, the court and Board of Examiners is working to implement a temporary limited practice rule that will allow many of this year’s bar candidates to perform legal work in Delaware, under the supervision of a Delaware lawyer, until the the next exam can be given.


 “The health and safety of all involved in the exam is our first priority,” said Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. “The Court and the Board had hoped that the temporary relocation of the Bar Exam to the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington and the use of a wide array of safety procedures consistent with State and CDC guidelines would allow us to hold an in-person exam this year. But we are not where we hoped to be from a public health standpoint.”

State health officials have repeatedly pointed out that in Delaware and elsewhere, the number of coronavirus cases is rising quickly among 18- to 34-year-olds, partly because they are congregating without masks or social distancing.

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About the Contributor


Betsy Price