Nova Scotia

Rule changes prompt Glace Bay firefighters to make new travel plans for Santa

The fire department is considering other options to help Santa spend a few evenings in Glace Bay, such as setting up a stationary float in each of the various neighbourhoods, or hosting Santa at the fire hall.

CBRM updated its safety rules for parades following the tragic death of a little girl in Yarmouth

The Glace Bay fire department expects to have a new plan in place for Santa's visit by the weekend. (Muriel Draaisma/CBC)

Santa Claus has cancelled his annual tour through the streets of Glace Bay.

Every year, volunteer firefighters take the jolly old elf around to various neighbourhoods on a float. It's a tradition that evolved from when Santa would ride on the back of fire truck around the community to say hello to children. 

But new regulations for parades in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality mean Santa won't be travelling by float to make his visits anymore in Glace Bay. 

CBRM updated its safety rules for parades following the tragic death of a little girl at a Christmas parade in Yarmouth.

"At least two people have to walk on either side of the float when there is anyone on it," said Glace Bay Fire Chief John Chant.

The float covers a lot of ground in Glace Bay to visit as many neighbourhoods as possible, and has to travel at close to 30 km/h. At that speed, it would be hard to have people walk alongside the float for the whole trip, Chant said. 

Chant said every year the firefighters from Glace Bay look forward to helping Santa go around the community. 

"It usually took us roughly a week of evenings," he said.

"We would go out three hours each evening for about a week and we would be able to cover most of the streets in Glace Bay, but again we feel that the guidelines purposed by the CBRM are within reason and we feel the safety of everyone involved is top priority right now."

The fire department is considering other options to help Santa spend a few evenings in different parts of the town, such as setting up a stationary float in each of the various neighbourhoods, or hosting Santa at the fire hall.

Chant said he expects to have a new plan in place by the weekend.

About the Author

Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith has been reporting news in Cape Breton since 1981. You can follow her on Twitter @leblancsmith and reach her at yvonne.leblanc-smith@cbc.ca

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