MONCTON, N.B. -- The City of Moncton has been making a list and checking it twice to ensure everything is just right for a special visitor this weekend.

Santa Claus is stopping by the Hub City to spread some Christmas cheer, in the middle of the summer.

Jillian Somers, the events and tourism director for the city, says the visit is part of the municipality's "Summer in the City" initiative, offering events throughout the summer that comply with current COVID-19 restrictions.

"When we looked at the 24th and the 25th of July falling on a weekend, we thought 'what better way to bring a little hope and cheer', and couldn't we all use that after the 18 months we've been through? So we invited Santa and he, thankfully, said yes," says Somers.

Saint Nick will arrive in style on Saturday, riding on his signature float from the Greater Moncton Santa Claus parade, which was cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

"I figured I'd do a little stop in, make sure everyone's doing great, make sure everybody's behaving and getting all ready for hopefully a wonderful season," said Santa from his workshop at the North Pole.

"We were disappointed obviously in 2020 to have to postpone to cancel for that year, so we're bringing them out. We're bringing our large lit Christmas tree and Santa's sleigh," says Somers.

Santa will be on Downing Street in the city's downtown core for two hours beginning at six o'clock.

"We have a large platform complete with Plexiglas so children can go visit, chat with him and have their picture taken in a way that is COVID compliant," says Somers.

Downing Street between Main Street and Assomption Boulevard will be closed for the day to allow for the visit.

A rain date of Sunday, July 25 has been set.