Saint John Santa Claus parade cancelled for second year

Organizers of the Saint John Santa Claus Parade are cancelling the 2021 event for a second consecutive year, saying there's too much concern over COVID-19's fourth wave and not enough interest from city groups.

Parade committee chairman Blaine Harris says planning for both the Saint John Santa Claus Parade and Lancaster Santa Claus Parade began in early September.

"We had a lot of people who were very interested in the start," he says.

As the fall began and New Brunswick's COVID-19 situation worsened, Harris says interest in the parade began to fade.

"As of Friday we only had four people registered for the uptown Santa Claus parade," he says. "We had nobody registered for the Lancaster Santa Claus parade."

Harris says each parade would need a minimum of 30 entries in order to proceed.

The parade's organizing committee issued another call for entries on Friday, but only received a couple more through the weekend, prompting Monday morning's announcement.

Harris says reaction to the decision has been mixed.

"People think that you're taking away Christmas from them, and you're taking away Santa Claus," he says. "They don't understand the logistics that are behind a parade."