Details are falling into place for the stationary Santa Claus Parade the city of Summerside is having this year, as a COVID-19 safety precaution.
The event organized by the city's fire department will involve floats set up in downtown parking spaces. It is tentatively scheduled for Friday evening, Nov. 27.
People will drive by to get the parade experience, rather than stand with their children on packed sidewalks as floats pass by on the street.
Barb Ramsay calls it "a backwards parade." She is the Summerside councillor who chairs the police, fire and emergency committee, and she says planning is well under way.
"We put an application in to the province to see if that would be an OK thing to do and we have got the word back that we're good to go," she said.
"All the floats will be stationary and residents will be driving through. So we are planning to do it on Water Street right into the downtown area."
Families 'struggling to find things to do'
Summerside Fire Chief Ron Enman said it's important to keep up the holiday tradition.
He heard Moncton, N.B., was looking at a stationary parade, and brought the idea to the attention of others in Summerside.
A lot of families have had a tough few months … everybody is struggling to find things to do. — Summerside Fire Chief Ron Enman
"I think a lot of families have had a tough few months, I really do. I know with our grandkids — everybody is struggling to find things to do. So it's just the time of year that we want to get the families out together and have some fun."
So far, the plan is that families in cars will come out of the Credit Union Place parking lot and along the route to see the parked floats. Water Street will turn into a one-way street for the occasion.
"Santa Claus is going to be located at the very end of the parade," said Ramsay; children likely won't be able to approach him, but they will be able to see him and wave.
Float registration is going to be free, but donations to families in need are welcome, Ramsay added.
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