HALIFAX -- Santa Claus won’t be coming to a Moncton parking lot as planned this Christmas season.

The 2020 Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade has been cancelled, due to health and safety issues related to COVID-19.

In September, the volunteer organizing committee had planned for a stationary parade that would allow Monctonians to drive through a parking lot while taking in the floats.

While that plan allowed for physical distancing between spectators, the organizing committee says concerns remained about volunteers who would be on floats.

The committee also says the Moncton region's recent outbreak and return to the orange phase influenced their decision to cancel the parade, which was originally scheduled for Nov. 21.

“I am grateful for all the hard work that my volunteer committee has done since May to find a way to make this happen for our community,” said Parade President Alex Morton in a statement. "In the end, the pandemic and public health concerns were too great.” 

Parade-goers who usually bring donations to the parade food drive are encouraged to make an effort to still give at other seasonal donation spots around the city or directly to the Food Depot Alimentaire.

Morton says the committee is now focused on planning the 2021 parade, which it hopes can return to its usual route down Moncton's Main St. 

Santa Claus parades in Saint John and Halifax have also been cancelled due to the pandemic

Halifax’s annual Parade of Lights will still be collecting donations for Feed Nova Scotia, and will be running highlights from previous years on local television on Nov. 21.