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Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade Adopting Walk-Up Format

November 4, 2021 3:12 PM | Entertainment

Santa Claus Parade

The guest of honour waves to thousands of children lining the streets at the 103rd Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, November 17, 2012. (TED GRANT / CHRISD.CA FILE)

The Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade will look a little different again this year as pandemic precautions continue.

Instead of the traditional parade down Portage Avenue, organizers are planning for a family-friendly walk-up event at Shaw Park.

“We are thrilled to announce a display event featuring Santa on his stunning float,” said Rennie Zegalski, president of the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade committee.

“It’s been a long couple of years, and we are inching toward normal. This will bring some much-needed magic to the beginning of the holiday season.”

Santa will arrive in Winnipeg on November 20 and sit on his float behind the Goldeyes’ stadium. The public can pre-register to attend between 5-8 p.m. Children must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult, as well as children 12 and over. Despite the event taking place outdoors, masks will also be required. Registration will open on November 8 at 12 p.m.

“In 2018 we built this beautiful float for Santa, and we consider it a community asset since it was made possible by corporate, foundation and individual donations,” added Monica Derksen, parade director.

“Although it is still not safe to have 50,000 gathering on the streets to watch a parade, we wanted to figure out a way for Santa to see the kids of Winnipeg from his float at the beginning of the season again this year.”

A physical booklet containing at-home activities will be available for pick-up at the event, including colouring pages, word searches and a scavenger hunt.