Cobourg’s Santa Parade will now be at Night

If you have been following other Cobourg News Sources, you’ll already know that at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Council decided to stage a Santa Parade this year after all.  But it will be quite different from other years.  The reason for the change from the earlier decision (which was to cancel and instead have Santa Tour the Town), was because MPP Piccini told the Mayor that the Province would announce today (Wednesday) that all crowd size limits would be lifted for both Remembrance Day and Santa Parades.  The Province’s announcement has not yet come so details such as the exact route have also not yet been announced.  But the date is different – it will be on December 4 – and the time is different: it will be at 6:00 pm – well after sunset.

Although Councillors were all in favour of the idea, Deputy Mayor Séguin expressed the hope that all the float providers would realise that they needed to provide lights – that’s a big change from a daytime parade. The later date is needed to provide enough time to get it organized and the time change allows the Parade to be synchronized with the already announced Home decoration competition – although it’s not clear how this works.

The time to organize a parade is short given that a parade was not expected – let’s hope it can be pulled together in time.

When asked to comment on the plans for a parade, The HKPR Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Bocking, said that as long as people spread out and did not crowd together, it should be safe.  She would be willing to bring her own kids to the parade but would look for an isolated spot on the route.

Every year, Cobourg has traditionally installed Christmas Lights in Victoria Park and along the Esplanade and this year will be no exception.  However, although it is not yet decided if there will be any “lights-on” event, they will certainly already be on at the time of the 2021 Santa Parade.

In approving the event, Council voted for Option A – Traditional Parade as presented by Staff – here is what they voted for:

  • Saturday, December 4, 6pm start – approximate
  • Cobourg Police Service will assist Staff to determine the safest and most appropriate event route details and logistics.
  • Main Street Cobourg (King Street).
  • In the Town’s messaging, Staff will encourage those attending to stretch out down the parade route to space out as much as possible, and to take all recommended safety measures.

Since there has not yet been any official announcement from the Town, it’s possible that the decision to have a Santa Parade on December 4 at 6:00 pm may yet be changed – again.  As usual, the decision will need to be ratified at the upcoming regular Council meeting – scheduled for next Monday. In any event, there are details yet to be worked out. Stay tuned.

More from Regular Council Meeting – 1 November

In addition to the Parade, Council authorised staff to hold Christmas Magic and First Night events.  Christmas Magic is lights in Victoria Park and along the Esplanade although the usual ceremony in front of Victoria Hall will not happen so as to avoid the crowds.  First Night includes Fireworks and speeches.  Details are to be determined but will follow whatever Provincial regulations are in place at the time.

Links

Santa Parade 2019

Santa Parade 2018

Ontario Government Announcement – 28 October 2021 – 8:51 am

Below is the text of a Press Release from MPP David Piccini’s office

On October 22, 2021 the government released A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term, which outlines the province’s gradual approach to lifting remaining public health and workplace safety measures by March 2022.

At that time, we announced our intention to allow for greater capacity at organized public events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies and Santa Claus parades.

Today, the government approved regulatory amendments, supported by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, that, effective immediately, lift capacity limits for outdoor organized public events such as parades, memorial services and other similar events. If physical distancing of two metres is not possible a mask must be worn. Restrictions on outdoor social gatherings will continue to be limited to 100 people.

As the risk of COVID-19 transmission is significantly lower outdoors, the regulatory amendments also remove outdoor capacity limits in most other sectors where they remain. This includes but isn’t limited to outdoor areas of fairs, rural exhibitions and festivals, and outdoor areas of museums, aquariums, zoos, and science centres, among others. Ski hills and other outdoor recreational amenities are also able to operate outdoor without capacity limits. These settings can also opt-in for proof of vaccination in indoor settings to remove capacity limits.

Outdoor capacity limits for food or drink establishments with dance facilities, such as nightclubs, will remain in place. In addition, as previously announced, proof of vaccination continues to be required in certain outdoor settings where the capacity is 20,000 people or more, to help keep these venues safe for patrons.

In addition, a number of clarifying and housekeeping amendments were approved to align with and support A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term. These include:

  • Removing the expired provision that permitted a negative COVID-19 antigen test to be used in place of proof of vaccination for wedding and funeral receptions in meeting or event spaces.
  • Permitting indoor recreational amenities to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements to align with the approach for similar businesses and organizations.
  • Clarifying requirements for signage at wedding, funeral and religious services, rites or ceremonies that opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements.
  • Specifying reservations are not required to attend unseated concerts, events, performances, and movies in addition to seated.
  • Removing the requirement that motor vehicles maintain at least 2 meters distance at drive-in / drive-through venues.

Please find the updated regulation below:
https://files.ontario.ca/solgen-732-21-amending-364-20-27-10-2021.pdf

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8 Comments
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Rob
28 October 2021 12:23 pm

This is great news for the children and families of Northumberland. After having cancelled the parade, in favour of a single float driving through neighbourhoods, Council made an informed decision with some gentle nudging from the Province. The decision by Council, which was encouraged by District Health, was neither rooted in science or aligned with the Province or their health regulations. In the future, I hope someone on Council exhibits critical thinking and questions these “opinions” and requests supporting data before making decisions…this was avoidable. Good outcome nonetheless.

Concerned
Reply to  Rob
28 October 2021 12:51 pm

They changed their decision because the province removed all restrictions full stop. Nothing to do with the health unit.

Rob
Reply to  Concerned
28 October 2021 4:40 pm

Concerned – what I meant was they cancelled the parade because of the recommendation of the health unit, which was neither a scientific recommendation or one based on Provincial guidelines…but also what restrictions were removed that effected having an outdoor parade? I thought the most recent changes were primarily indoor capacity limits.

Concerned
Reply to  Rob
28 October 2021 5:26 pm

Outdoor gathers greater than 100. Directly related to parades and ceremonies. It was based on restrictions at the time as you couldn’t have gathers greater than 100.
Below is and excerpt from the announcement.

Today, the government approved regulatory amendments, supported by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, that, effective immediately, lift capacity limits for outdoor organized public events such as parades, memorial services and other similar events.

Last edited 1 month ago by Concerned
Tucker
28 October 2021 10:55 am

I personally liked the idea of Santa going through neighbourhoods. Santa Claus parade at night is just silly, especially if it just stays downtown. Parades made people think more about shopping, helping to kick off the Xmas shopping for the merchants. Having it on a Saturday night doesn’t make sense. My “vote” would be to just have one float with Santa touring the town.

Concerned
28 October 2021 9:44 am

The initial blog post is quite misleading. The Santa Parade was never fully cancelled. The format was changed so that hundreds of people weren’t lined up on Kings St. due to restrictions. I actually felt the back up plan they had of go through 53km of Cobourg neighbourhoods was a very good step and would have still allowed the children to see Santa Claus. I am happy that this format is going forward, but the other format would have been more than sufficient as well due to the restrictions at the time the decision was made.

Tim Calhoun
28 October 2021 7:11 am

I have a small quiet generator I would be willing to loan to any parade participant group in need. Tim Calhoun, Cobourg.
tcalhoun777@outlook.com

Bob
Reply to  Tim Calhoun
28 October 2021 8:17 am

Tim
That’s a very nice gesture. Thanks for helping out