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Pandemic prevents Santa Claus parade

The Fire Department’s Christmas parade will not go ahead this year due to concern about people possibly bursting their social bubbles by congregating to watch, but there already plans in the works to celebrate the holiday season in a couple of different ways. – Rosalyn Roy / Wreckhouse Press

SOUTHWEST COAST – Port aux Basques will not be holding its annual Santa Claus parade thanks to the pandemic. The COVID-19 Advisory Committee, the Channel-Port aux Basques Volunteer Fire Department and the Town Council have all agreed that it is better to err on the side of caution this year.

“Anything that would be a magnet that would attract people would not be what we want,” said Mayor John Spencer during the Nov. 9 meeting of council. “Even talking about driving the fire truck around town, it still becomes a magnet for bringing people into town.”

If the Fire Department carries Santa and Mrs. Claus around on a fire truck, Coun. Jim Lane observed that the truck wouldn’t be able to cover every single side street and some residents may have to head down to the main roads to watch, so guidelines on public gatherings must be taken into account.

“Santa Claus will make a visit through town before Christmas,” promised Fire Chief Jerry Musseau in a phone interview late last week.

One of the other suggestions the Fire Department has also proposed is a home decorating contest, complete with first, second and third place winners who will all receive prizes. The town has held such a contest in past years called Light Up Your Community, and this new one will likely run along a similar vein, with dates announced for judging and the winning entries published in the newspaper.

Details on how Santa will make his annual visit along with the dates for the judging of the as yet unnamed decorating contest will be announced in the very near future.

Meanwhile, Coun. Melvin Keeping always decorates his home each Christmas and plans to do so again this year, but he has already been declared ineligible to win a prize.

“All councillors are not qualified,” joked Spencer.

Codroy Valley, the Town of Rose Blanche-Harbour Le Cou and the Town of Burnt Islands have yet to make a decision regarding their annual Christmas parade. The Town of Isle aux Morts did not respond to inquiries prior to publication deadline.

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