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Oct. 31, 2020 | Saturday
Local News
Christmas parade cancelled, committee exploring other options
File photo/Santa rolls through town in the 2017 Santa Claus Parade

Santa Claus is not coming to town this year – Niagara-on-the-Lake's traditional Christmas parade has been cancelled.

Bob Cheriton, spokesperson for the parade committee, said it was a tough decision, but a necessary one given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the number of people the parade usually attracts.

"The bottom line is it's off," Cheriton said in an interview Tuesday.

"It's an unfortunate kind of thing. But with a large gathering like that I think everybody pretty much everybody understood that we really didn't have any options."

He said typically the parade brings thousands of people out to watch it, which presents a real health concern amid the pandemic.

"The (parade) drives so many people in such large crowds that you can't compromise the health and safety of our residents and the visitors," he said.

This year's parade would have been Cheriton's 20th year being involved.

He thinks it's the first time the parade has been cancelled.

"I don't know if historically there's ever been a reason to cancel it before," he said. "I found nothing in the past that would suggest that it ever had to be canceled."

Lord Mayor Betty Disero said other options are being explored, including hosting it virtually or replaying the footage from last year's parade during some sort of smaller celebration.

Cheriton said the parade committee is looking at some other options, but nothing is finalized yet.

"We are toying around with a few ideas. And we're doing some logistics checks and so on to see what's feasible. You know, we haven't homed in on anything in particular at this point."

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