Municipalities across P.E.I. are trying to figure out what this year's Santa Claus parades will look like because of COVID-19.
Last week, the City of Moncton, N.B., announced it would hold a "reverse parade" — meaning displays are stationary and spectators drive by to look at them in their own vehicles.
Now, Summerside is considering doing the same thing for its Santa Claus Parade, which is organized by the Summerside Fire Department.
"With COVID, things are going to change," said Chief Ron Enman.
He said his group plans to meet this week to discuss options for the parade, and what route people would be asked to drive.
"We'll probably try to make it as straight as possible so it may get Water Street east, it just depends on how many participants want to take place and do the displays," he said.
"I think it would be an easier setup for us this year because the kids won't be coming back to the fire hall. Santa Claus would be a stationary display along the route."
'If we can't have it we will postpone'
Enman said the plan for a parade in Summerside has not yet been approved by the province.
Once the committee has a plan, they'll put together a proposal to public health, Enman said.
"Maybe it's something that they won't even entertain, and if that is the case we definitely respect the direction Dr. Morrison gives us," he said.
However, Enman said it will be strange not being able to have people gather at the fire hall following the parade — but he is optimistic.
"If we can get the approval, I am sure it will be a fun event," he said. "I'm really hopeful it can be a go. It'll definitely be a little bit of a pick up heading into Christmas and get 2020 behind us."
Officials with public health said there is ongoing discussions about how various holidays and celebrations can be adapted this year.
"If we can't have it we will postpone it till next year," Enman said.
The City of Charlottetown said it is also reviewing options for annual holiday celebrations — in the context of the current public health guidelines — and will make an announcement once a decision is made.
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