Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge remains hopeful in coronavirus situation with parades, bear hunts and colorful lights

Breckenridge remains hopeful in coronavirus situation with parades, bear hunts and colorful lights
March 30
18:20 2020

As local school kids and many adults enter their fourth week at home due to the COVID-19 threat, parents, teachers and others are looking for ways to keep everyone entertained and in high spirits.

The Breckenridge Fire Department leads a long line of East Elementary teachers and staff members on a parade Friday afternoon to drive by students’ homes during the coronavirus situation. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

Last Friday, more than 30 teachers and staff members from East Elementary decorated their vehicles with handmade posters and followed a fire truck through the streets of Breckenridge to let their students know how much they missed them. The school notified parents through the campus Facebook page, and  families came outside to wave to the passing teachers.

North Elementary teachers and staff held a similar parade earlier in the week.

Teddy bears can be spotted around town, including at the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center (pictured here), as part of the Buckaroo Bear Hunt. (Photo courtesy of Shalon Wilson)

Local mom and business owner Jenny Moore started the Buckaroo Bear Hunt. Similar activities are going on around the world as kids just about everywhere are stuck at home while everyone tries to slow the spread of the new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

The “bear hunt” starts with local families and businesses putting teddy bears in their windows, on their porches or anywhere that kids might spot them. Then, families can drive around (still practicing social distancing) and look for the bears. More information about the bear hunt, including a list of participating locations (click on the hashtag), can be found on the Facebook page Buckaroo Bear Hunt!

Additionally, each of the Breckenridge schools has videos and/or lists of activities that kids can participate in during this temporary shut-down. Visit the Breckenridge Independent School District website for links to the different schools, or search for each campus on Facebook, where many are posting great information, such as projects and crafts for kids to do at home, ways for the kids to stay active, etc.

First National Bank of Breckenridge has lighted the Buckaroo B at the top of the building as a symbol of hope for the community. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Knowing that this is a challenging time for everyone in the community, because many people are isolated at home and many local businesses have had to temporarily close to help prevent the spread of the virus, First National Bank of Breckenridge is keeping the Buckaroo B on top of the bank building lighted as a symbol of support for all our businesses, citizens, and students. On their Facebook page, the bank posted, “We are a strong community that comes together in challenging times. … Stand firm in your faith knowing brighter days are ahead.”

Additionally, Stephens County officials have turned on the red, white and blue lights that shine down from the top of the courthouse, as a way to remind everyone that Breckenridge, along with the rest of the United States, is a strong community that will overcome the coronavirus challenge.

With most churches choosing to temporarily halt in-person services, many are offering alternatives, such as drive-in church and/or online services. Check out the Breckenridge Texan’s list of local changes and cancellations for more details.

Stephens County and Breckenridge remain under a shelter-in-place order issued by the County and City officials to try and stop local residents from gathering in large crowds. Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19, County Judge Michael Roach has taken an aggressive approach to preventing the spread of the disease locally. On Monday afternoon, March 30, Stephens Memorial Hospital reported that there have been 16 tests performed locally; 11 have come back as negative for the disease, and five results are still pending.

For the latest local coronavirus information, visit the Breckenridge Texan’s Coronavirus News page.

Here are some more photos by Tony Pilkington from around town:

Cindi Woodward put out this painting as part of the Buckaroo Bear Hunt activity for local kids. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

The Stephens County Courthouse is lit up with red, white and blue lights as a message of support to the community. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

A “Stay Strong” message adorned the Courthouse lawn last week. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Pastor Russell Brock leads a drive-in church service on March 22 at the Rose Avenue Baptist Church as a way of bringing his congregation together while still practicing “social distancing.” (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

A recent shot of downtown Breckenridge at night shows the lighted B shining bright over the city. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: A local family waves to the East Elementary teacher and staff as they paraded around town on Friday, March 27. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 9:40 p.m. March 30 to add information about North Elementary’s teacher parade.

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