Santa Claus is not coming to town, at least not in a traditional parade
LONDON, ONT -- The City of London has made the decision not to issue permits for parades which means Jolly Ole Saint Nick is going to have to stick to virtual events and his traditional visit on Christmas.
There are three main parades that run every year in the City including the London Santa Claus Parade, the Argyle Parade, and the Hyde Park Parade.
"While we know Londoners look forward to events like the Santa Claus parade every year, we've had to make many changes and difficult decisions in our efforts to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community," said City spokesperson Monika Guzy.
Randy Sidhu, Executive Director of the Argyle BIA says, "It was disappointing, the Argyle BIA has been holding the parade for about six years now, so it’s become a staple event for the community."
Parades have also been cancelled in Kitchener and Waterloo and in Toronto a virtual parade will be taking place. But the loss of the parade in Hyde Park is not only the loss of a joyous event, but also a key food drive for the Lions Club
"Families brought out their kids with their canned goods to give, so we could give it out to the North West Resource Centre’ food cupboard program," says Rob Harbottle, the parade organizer.
The reasoning is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulty of ensuring physical distancing throughout the event.
With gathering restrictions being rolled back as the country grapples with a second wave of infections, it leads little time to organize an event should case numbers ease off before the holiday season.
"A parade makes it difficult to stay within the limits identified for social gatherings," said Guzy.
As for another major holiday season event, the Lighting of the Lights in Victoria Park, Guzy says the city is currently looking at options for the event.
Meanwhile a spokes-elf for the North Pole said that they are prioritizing their own health and safety measures so that when Santa does come to bring presents it is in the safest manner possible.
With files from CTV's Justin Zadorsky