Amherstburg to Host Drive-Thru Santa Claus Parade

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Amherstburg is taking an innovative approach to this year's Santa Claus Parade.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, council has opted for hosting a drive-thru event where parade goers will drive past the floats that will be staged at the Libro Centre.

Administration had recommended cancelling the parade altogether, but council didn't want to see the community go without the annual tradition.

Councillor Don McArthur says the drive-thru method has eased his concerns about safety at the event.

"I think that's a very good idea," he says. "At the PNE in Vancouver, they did the drive thru for Canada Day. Right now on Prince Edward Island and Moncton, they're doing drive thru Santa Claus parades as well. So that really seems to be the way things are going."

McArthur says families look forward to the event each year.

"It's not going to be as good. There's not going to be candy getting thrown out. It's not going to be the same thing, but a lot of things aren't the same because of this pandemic and I always come back to the mental health of the kids," McArthur adds. "Yes, it's just one day that they get to go out there, but it's not just that day, it's the red circle on the calendar that they're looking forward to."

Deputy mayor Leo Meloche is concerned about the quality of the event, but voted in favour of moving forward.

"My concern at the beginning was about making it attractive to the kids so they want to come back next year when we talk about animation and all that as opposed to static," he says. "So I do support the aspect of having a parade and the Libro Centre is definitely a good alternative."

The Windsor Parade Corporation will host the event at a cost of $13,000.

The drive thru-parade, which is scheduled for November 28, still needs final approval from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

Kingsville council approved a similar concept last month — that parade will remain stationary while spectators move through to view the attractions.