Santa Claus parade returning to Renfrew with a twist
RENFREW, ONT. -- Santa Claus is coming to the town of Renfrew.
Rather, the big jolly man is returning after a hiatus last year when the Renfrew Santa Claus Parade was cancelled. This year, the Renfrew BIA has brought the event back, which will take place Saturday, Dec. 4 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
"We are definitely going ahead," BIA president Christina Ouellet tells CTV News. "Seeing a lot of the small towns having their little local fairs, we even had our fair this year, we just thought to have something smaller and scaled down."
The scaled down event comes with a twist. This year's parade will actually be stationary. Floats will be parked along Raglan Street and in front of town hall, with those attending the parade touring the floats in person.
"We're just trying to have something go on, to have some type of normalcy," says Ouellet.
At the beginning of October, the city of Ottawa announced that all Santa Claus parades would be cancelled and, thus far, no other parades in Renfrew County have been announced, meaning Renfrew's event will be the only one taking place. That may mean the streets of Renfrew could be even busier than expected come Dec. 4.
"We might just have a little bit more people than what we thought," says Ouellet. "We're just going to try to control the crowds; everybody is respectful of social distancing."
The region's medical officer of health is on board with the altered parade idea.
"A stationary parade, that makes a lot of sense because you can control the number of people as they walk by," says Dr. Robert Cushman, who adds the change will disperse crowds from gathering on the street.
"You probably don't have to show proof of vaccination to line the sidewalk, elbow to elbow to watch a parade go by," says Cushman, "so that's an important point."