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Santa will parade through Elmira

The COVID-19 pandemic may have even Santa practicing social distancing, including taking a pass this year on the usual parades, but that does not mean he will be sticking to the North Pole completely until his midnight ride.

Because of the coronavirus, many places have found ways to change the way the annual parades and visits with Saint Nick are taking place. Whether the parade is being run in reverse – where Santa and other floats are sitting stationary while the viewers drive by in their cars – or another creative way, people are adapting to keep the Christmas spirit alive.

Here in Elmira, Santa is still planning on making a trip to town thanks to a little help from the Woolwich Community Lions Club. Instead of riding down on a float to visit the boys and girls, he will be driving around with his elves in a pickup truck, delivering candy and collecting letters.

“We know that Santa is having trouble getting to parades this year, so we tried to come up with something to give back to the community so the kids can see Santa. So, we are just doing COVID measures and making sure everyone’s safe and trying to do the drive-by [event] in Elmira [so we can] give back to the community,” said Tanya Rempel, a member of the Woolwich Community Lions Club and organizer of the event.

Running from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on December 11, the event will let kids will get to see Santa in a different fashion this year as he drives by their homes – choosing to forego his sleigh and take his truck around town. Rempel says Saint Nick will be picking up their letters and taking them back with him to the North Pole, while also handing out some treats for the kids, making quick stops and keeping a safe distance

Families will have to preregister ahead of time, so Santa knows where to make his stops and ensure that he gets to all the kids who are able to see him during pit stop in the town.

There will be a $5 cost associated with the event – with all proceeds going to the Lions Club – so they can ensure Santa is able to make his trip and have enough goodies for everyone.

Registration can be done by messaging the Woolwich Community Lions Club, by calling 519-502-2027, or by emailing tsrempel@msn.com. The last day to register for Santa’s visit is December 6.

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