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Halifax to offer free 15-min. parking in December, municipal holiday events cancelled

Click to play video: 'Evergreen Festival goes virtual' Evergreen Festival goes virtual
We check in with Gordon Stevens from Develop NS to find out more about the inaugural Evergreen Festival in Downtown Halifax this weekend. – Nov 27, 2020

The Halifax Regional Municipality says many of its usual holiday events are cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the city says it will be offering 15 minutes of free parking throughout December to help out local businesses and customers.

“The purpose is to facilitate short-term pick-ups and loading while providing more flexibility,” the city said.

The discounted parking will be available through the HotSpot app and on-street pay stations.

“Residents can input the amount of time they will be parked in a parking zone, and the first 15-minutes will be automatically free.”

This begins next Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Read more: Halifax retailers ask shoppers to follow the book with new COVID-19 protocols in place

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Update on holiday events

The HRM announced on Thursday that many of its regular seasonal events will look different this year, if not entirely cancelled.

The in-person tree lighting ceremony at Grand Parade Square in downtown Halifax is cancelled this year. The in-person event was supposed to be held this Saturday night, but will now premiere online on the HRM YouTube channel.

The holiday projection and light show that will be on throughout December begins on Saturday and can be viewed in person.

“Residents who wish to view the lights show must abide by all public health protocols, including physical distancing of 6 feet (2 metres),” the city said in a release.

This year’s in-person Menorah lighting ceremony is also cancelled this year. The Menorah in Grand Parade will be lit Dec. 11 to 18.

A full schedule for the Halifax seasonal commemoration is available here.

Click to play video: 'Evergreen Festival goes virtual' Evergreen Festival goes virtual
Evergreen Festival goes virtual – Nov 27, 2020

The Dartmouth tree lighting in-person event is also cancelled for this year, but “a variety of holiday illuminations will be on display in downtown Dartmouth throughout the month of December,” the city said.

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To view any of Dartmouth’s light shows and installations, residents must maintain physical distance.

Full details on Dartmouth events will be available online in December.

For New Year’s Eve, a studio broadcast of a show will be held this year, with no in-person gathering.

The city says information on performing artists and other details will be released in December.

Read more: N.S. offers one-time grant for businesses ordered closed as a result of COVID-19 restrictions

Halifax Explosion commemoration

The in-person memorial ceremony of the Halifax Explosion is cancelled this year.

The 1917 explosion devastated north-end Halifax, killed nearly 2,000 people and left thousands more injured and homeless.

To commemorate 103 years since the tragedy, Mayor Mike Savage will address Haligonians virtually on Dec. 6 at 9 a.m. The speech will be broadcast on Facebook.

The city says wreaths will be placed at the north end’s Fort Needham Memorial Park, “commemorating the tragic loss of life and honoring the resiliency and recovery of those who survived the explosion.”

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