London

COVID hasn't cancelled Christmas (yet), but London's Santa Claus parades are axed

As London grapples with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the city has stopped issuing parade permits, meaning the annual Santa Claus parades will not happen this year.

The city isn't issuing any parade permits, which means the city's Santa parades won't go ahead

Mr. and Mrs. Claus wave to children during the annual Argyle BIA Santa Claus parade last year. (Supplied by Argyle BIA)

As London grapples with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the city has stopped issuing parade permits, meaning the annual Santa Claus parades will not happen this year. 

"This is to ensure we are taking every precaution to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. A parade makes it difficult to stay within the limits identified for social gatherings, and can also make physical distancing difficult to maintain," said Monika Guzy, a spokesperson for the city. 

"While we know Londoners look forward to events like the Santa Claus parade every year, we've had to make many changes and difficult decisions in our efforts to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community."

London has three major parades: the London Santa Claus Parade as well as ones in the Argyle and Hyde Park areas of the city. 

"It's really disappointing because it's a great community event, but at the same time we understand that health and safety come first," said Randy Sidhu, the executive director of the Argyle BIA, which has put on the east-end parade for six years. 

"We're looking at what we can do differently, maybe a window-decorating contest, or meetings with Santa. It definitely won't be to the same scale, because we usually attract 4,000 to 5,000 people." 

"It's unprecedented times and we understand the decision." 

Those behind the Hyde Park parade say they're hoping to make it a virtual event. 

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