For the first time in 111 years, there will be no Santa Claus Parade in Winnipeg due to COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade Committee announced the outdoor parade has been cancelled this year due to the public health guidelines amid the pandemic, and instead the jolly man in red will be coming to town virtually.
“We are thrilled to announce several interactive activities that will culminate in a professionally produced video special for children of all ages,” Rennie Zegalski, President of the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade Committee said in a news release.
“We know things are tough for everyone right now, and for children especially. We want to provide fun activities for families to do together, to remind everyone that the magic of Santa isn’t cancelled during a pandemic.”
The committee said free virtual activities will launch online on November 10 on the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade website and on social media.
These activities will include contests, arts and crafts, musical activities, and a video special of Santa Claus and his float, along with some other special guests.
Monica Derksen, the parade director, said in a news release that the committee had been trying to find ways to make the parade happen, but decided to move online as public health orders kept changing.
Finally, it became clear that the best thing we can do is celebrate together, but apart,” Derksen said. “Our goal is to still provide joy and excitement for the families of Winnipeg.”
The parade has been running in Winnipeg since 1909 and is the second-largest parade in Canada.