The 2020 Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade in Peterborough has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers tell Global News Peterborough.
Dave Commerford, chairman for the Kinsmen Club of Peterborough’s Santa Claus Parade, confirmed Thursday that the 47th annual parade will not be going ahead due to safety concerns, along with logistical and insurance issues amid the pandemic.
“We are disappointed as a service club, but we didn’t think we could pull it off in a safe manner,” Commerford told Global News Peterborough.
He said there were concerns the parade — which attracts thousands to see the procession along George Street in the city’s downtown — could attract people from other areas. He noted parade planning typically starts in August and this year “had a lot of uncertainty.”
“The parade typically draws thousands of people and then there is the added concern that it could attract a lot of people from surrounding areas as well, during a time when travel is limited,” he said.
“It is unfortunate, but we have to keep everyone safe.”
Commerford said the Kinsmen Club is reviewing other fundraising efforts to continue to give back to the community.
“Which is what the club is all about,” he said.
As of Wednesday evening, Peterborough Public Health reported 24 active cases of COVID-19 in its jurisdiction which includes Peterborough, Peterborough County, Hiawatha First Nation and Curve Lake First Nation.
This Sunday, a drive-by Santa Claus parade starting at 1 p.m. will be held in the village of Lakefield in Selwyn Township, north of the city. Stationary floats will be set up across from the Lakefield Legion and the Lakefield Curling Club.
In Lindsay, a “socially-distanced” event will be held as Santa travels throughout the town beginning at 2 p.m.
A map of Santa’s route in Lindsay: