A beloved holiday tradition for many Sooke families has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Santa Parade organizers said they spent months considering throwing the annual event this year, even announcing a Sooke Reverse Santa Parade two weeks ago. However, given the necessary pandemic safety precautions, they ultimately decided to cancel.
While the news might be disappointing for some, it’s also unsurprising given B.C.’s surging COVID-19 case numbers, which broke several records last week.
“The work in building floats, constructing and decorating displays, preparing the area, policing the area and controlling traffic are all activities that would increase our contacts and so it is safer for us all and our neighbours not to hold this parade,” said Steve Lawrence, organizer of the event.
“This is not a decision that the Sooke Lions Club wanted to make, but it is seen as the right thing to do for the protection of all citizens of Sooke.”
Hundreds of families normally flock to the parade, where children can glimpse Santa Claus among marching bands, community groups and decorated floats.
The Sooke Lions Club said it’s also cancelling the popular Breakfast with Santa usually held in early December.