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Winnipeg’s Santa Claus Parade goes virtual amid coronavirus

Santa Claus on his float during the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade in 2014. Global News File

Winnipeg’s Santa Claus Parade won’t be heading down Portage Avenue this year — but organizers aren’t letting COVID-19 completely ruin the party.

While the parade has been cancelled due to pandemic, organizers say activities — including an appearance from Santa — will still go ahead, virtually.

Read more: Santa Claus arrives in Winnipeg Saturday for the 2019 parade

“We are thrilled to announce several interactive activities that will culminate in a professionally produced video special for children of all ages,” said Rennie Zegalski, president of the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade Committee, in a release Wednesday.

“We know things are tough for everyone right now, and for children especially. We want to provide fun activities for families to do together, to remind everyone that the magic of Santa isn’t cancelled during a pandemic!”

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Click to play video 'Highlights from the 2018 Winnipeg Santa Claus parade' Highlights from the 2018 Winnipeg Santa Claus parade
Highlights from the 2018 Winnipeg Santa Claus parade – Nov 21, 2018

 

The planning committee says the interactive activities will launch Nov. 10 on the parade’s website and social media channels.

The planned activities will be free and include contests, arts and crafts, music, and more.

They say the video special will feature the Santa float, music, a number of special guests, and of course, an appearance by the jolly man himself.

Read more: Winnipeg’s 2018 Santa Claus parade in pictures and tweets

“This has been a wild year for planning,” said Parade Director Monica Derksen.

“We’ve been saying that this isn’t ‘plan B,’ it’s plan ‘W,’ ‘X’ or ‘Y.’ As guidelines continued to change, we kept developing new concepts that would keep everyone safe.

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“Finally, it became clear that the best thing we can do is celebrate together, but apart. Our goal is to still provide joy and excitement for the families of Winnipeg.”

Click to play video 'RCAF Band and Doc Walker perform “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”' RCAF Band and Doc Walker perform “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”
RCAF Band and Doc Walker perform “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” – Dec 6, 2018