N.S. community plans drive-thru Santa Claus Parade to adhere to public health protocols
HALIFAX -- The question remains for many on if Santa Claus will be coming to town this year.
In early November, Cape Breton Regional Municipality made the difficult decision to cancel all of their mobile parades.
But the mayor is pushing for more public consultation as one community comes up with a different way to celebrate the season.
“Santa Claus Parade is such a big part of the community during Christmas,” said parade organizer, David MacKeigan. “Thousands of people usually come out and watch the mobile parade.”
MacKeigan has been doing what he can to save the holiday tradition ever since he was made aware of CBRM’s decision to cancel earlier this month due to COVID-19.
MacKeigan is part of ‘Bay it Forward’, a community group in Glace Bay, N.S., that is now part of organizing a reverse Santa Claus Parade.
“Not having that would be very disappointing and by the reaction to our post on Facebook, there are a lot of happy people. A lot of volunteers stepping up,” said MacKeigan.
MacKeigan says they’re still finalizing when and where the parade will take place but one thing he does know for sure is it will be in the evening and part of a light-up event.
“The floats are stationary, the people will drive by the floats and in doing that, they’ll be able to maintain their family bubble, stay in their vehicles, so all the guidelines for COVID will be covered,” said MacKeigan.
CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall supports the idea for the Christmas parade, as long as they can be done safely.
As a councillor, she also pushed to keep the night-time parades n 2019 but was defeated by her colleagues.
She is now pushing for more public consultations for these types of situations moving forward, including involving organizations who put them on.
“Instead of at the last minute like last year when we saw the cancellation of the night-time parades,” said McDougall. “It was really, really hurtful to these groups because they already invested so much time planning the events and had to change at the drop of a dime.”
McDougall says there could also be more community related Christmas events announced in the coming dates.