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Kingston’s 2020 Santa Claus parade cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns

Santa Claus pictured sitting in chair with sack full of presents, looking at a list, probably checking it twice.
Santa Claus pictured sitting in chair with sack full of presents, looking at a list, probably checking it twice. Getty Images

Downtown Kingston has cancelled this year’s night-time Santa parade following consultation with the city and local public health.

All three organizations say they are concerned that this well-attended annual event will attract too large a crowd to safely allow people to physically distance.

The announcement comes as cases have started to rise dramatically across the province. On Thursday, there were 409 cases of COVID-19 identified in Ontario, and two new cases of the virus identified in the Kingston region.

Nevertheless, locally, active cases remain low, with a total of seven on Thursday.

Read more: 2 new cases of COVID-19 in Kingston region, including student in residence at Queen’s

Downtown Kingston said although the Santa Claus parade won’t go as planned this year, they are looking into different ways to celebrate the season come December.

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“We’ve heard that the elves are busy working on a few surprises that will add fun to the season in safe way,” said Michèle Langlois, Downtown Kingston’s interim executive director.

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Canada Post has also confirmed that they will be going ahead with their write a letter to Santa campaign this year.

“Santa is ready to receive letters from everyone around the world again this year. Canada Post is proud to once again help him respond to his mail,” a statement from the mail service read.

Information for the campaign will be listed on Canada Post’s website in early October, and the deadline to mail your letter to Santa is Dec. 4.  Anything received after that date will get a reply as well, it may just arrive after Christmas, according to Canada Post.

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