Kamloops' annual Santa Claus Parade changing format for COVID-19 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops' annual Santa Claus Parade changing format for COVID-19

Kamloops Santa Claus Parade, 2019.
Image Credit: Pradeep Rao
October 13, 2020 - 7:30 PM

Although many beloved events have bit the dust in the wake of COVID-19, the annual Kamloops Santa Claus Parade isn't one of them.

Instead, organizers will be switching up the format of the parade to make it safe for all. 

"We're looking at introducing a drive-through parade environment, where businesses' storefronts will be heavily decorated," Carl DeSantis with the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association said. "Individuals and families could at their leisure either drive through or walk through and explore all of the window displays."

The holiday wonderland will be set up in the downtown core for a period of three to four weeks, starting up around the third week of November, DeSantis said.

Organizers are looking at giving each block a different theme, using a combination of decorations from businesses and previous parade participants. 

"It’s going to be an all hands on deck approach," he said.

In previous years, community members and businesses signed up to participate in the one-day parade, creating a holiday float for a procession through downtown. Last year, the parade was held at night to showcase the dazzling light displays.

Kamloops Santa Claus Parade, 2019.
Kamloops Santa Claus Parade, 2019.
Image Credit: Pradeep Rao

"The power of the illuminated floats going by, it really was remarkable," DeSantis said. "What we’re trying to introduce will hopefully continue with that impact until we’re able to go back to a parade as it was."

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Santa Claus Parade, and organizers are determined to keep the spirit alive despite the pandemic.

"Every year we create magical memories for families and friends, for the old and the young, and we need to continue with that," DeSantis said. "We want to keep this going. It’s something that families and the community look forward to every single year."

For more information, click here to visit the Downtown Kamloops website.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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