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For the second year in a row, the Toronto Santa Claus Parade will not be held in person.
Organizers announced on October 22 that the 117th Original Santa Claus Parade will be a broadcast-only event.
“We know this disappoints many of you, but this decision was made after thoughtful discussion and careful consideration of many factors,” Clay Charters, the parade’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
It takes months to plan such a large parade, he said, and the decision to not hold an in-person event was made several weeks ago.
Charters noted that they considered the fact that a significant portion of the parade’s audience is children under the age of 11, a group that remains unvaccinated.
As a public event, there would be no way for organizers to enforce public health measures, such as physical distancing and masking, or check visitor’s vaccination status.
“With all of these items to consider, we have made the decision to bring Santa and his Parade into your homes…in an exciting made-for-tv broadcast,” Charters said.
“We look forward to kicking off the holiday season with you.”
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A central part of the holidays in Toronto for more than 100 years, the inaugural Santa Claus Parade was held in 1905. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 iteration was held virtually.
The 2021 parade will air at 7 pm on December 4. More details will be released in the coming weeks, but guests can expect festive floats, magical characters, and special performances.