Santa Claus is still coming to Southcentre Mall — but things will look different this year

·2 min read
Santa Claus is still coming to Southcentre Mall — but things will look different this year
Santa Claus is still coming to Southcentre Mall — but things will look different this year

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended virtually every tradition in 2020, but Calgary's Southcentre Mall will keep at least one alive this holiday season — a visit from Santa Claus.

Of course, this year's Santa set at the mall will look a little bit different, with enhanced cleaning protocols, one-way traffic and mandatory hand sanitization all implemented.

"We've been thinking about everything that can make the experience safer, [so] people will feel good by coming to see Santa," said Alexandra Velosa, marketing manager for the mall.

WATCH | Watch the video above to see how this year's visit from Santa Claus at Southcentre Mall will look a little bit different

Velosa said visitors should go online to Southcentre's website to book their appointments.

This year, Santa is sitting in a shiny, red truck and will invite kids to climb aboard the truck to take a picture with him.

"So we'll just keep building memories during this time," Velosa said. "It's just a way to connect with the community."

Monty Kruger/CBC
Monty Kruger/CBC

Emily Tennant brought her child to see the Santa exhibit, adding she enjoys getting yearly photos during the holiday season.

"They're really good here … they have you standing six feet apart, everyone wearing masks," she said.

"I think it's worth it. Might as well be safe, and it's nice that we're still able to do it with the precautions."

While Santa will still visit Southcentre Mall, one of Canada's largest mall operators cancelled physical visits with Santa at 19 malls across Canada on Friday.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd. said Friday it is suspending all physical experiences with Santa. The corporation owns Market Mall and Chinook Mall in Calgary.

Cadillac Fairview will instead offer Santa storytime sessions in French and English on Facebook for families and will allow people to book one-on-one video chats with the jolly man from the North Pole.