Santa Claus is coming to town.
The Nighttime Kingston Santa Parade is just days away. After a change in provincial restrictions for outdoor gatherings, the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area decided to bring back Kingston’s Nighttime Santa Parade. The decision comes just three weeks before the brightly lit floats hit Princess Street.
“Normally, we accept applications in early summer to get organized for November and then spend most of September and October getting organized for the parade,” said Jan MacDonald, the director of events for Downtown Kingston.
“It’s been fast and furious but fun,” she added.
The return of the annual holiday event comes at a time when COVID-19 numbers are higher than they’ve ever been in the region. Spectators will be asked to physically distance themselves from others and those on floats and in the crowd will be asked to wear masks.
“We have to remember the population watching the parade is typically under 12, so not vaccinated, so we want to make it absolutely as safe as possible,” MacDonald said.
KFL&A medical officer of health Piotr Oglaza said the chance of COVID-19 transmission in outdoor settings is relatively low-but people will still need to do their part to keep everyone safe. For some, that will mean staying home.
“If they come in wearing masks and stay separate between family units, different households, that really can ensure maximum safety for this type of event,” Oglaza said.
Santa is still set to light the Tree in Market Square following the parade, which organizers say will be a half an hour shorter than in past years.
Food donations will be accepted for the foodbank along the route. But you’ll have to hold onto your Santa letters until you get to market square. The Square will have a mailbox that will get your wishlists directly to the North Pole.