Prairie Mall will not host Santa over Christmas season

Santa Claus in the 2016 Santa Parade in Grande Prairie, Erica Fisher
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Local children won’t be sitting on Santa’s knee asking for presents this Christmas. The Prairie Mall has confirmed that Santa will not be visiting in person this year due to physical distancing protocols.

General Manager Lionel Frey says the decision was not made lightly.

“Particularly at Christmas, a lot of people look forward to that Santa being at the mall and they really enjoy the idea of having something that’s commemorative for them in terms of a photo with Santa so it was a really hard decision and it was literally months in the process of deciding what we should do. To follow protocol and realizing that again this is probably something that’s going to be with us for a while, we realized the inevitably we’d have to do that.”

Frey notes Santa is always a big part of the holidays, both for young ones and parents, so the mall wants to make sure something for everyone to enjoy and participate in is still accessible. He adds, despite the lack of the conventional Christmas tradition, the team still has something up their sleeve for the holiday season.

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“We’re working on some alternatives; we realize this is a big time for the public in general, and so we’re certainly not going to abandon Christmas,” he says. “There’s a lot of things that we can do as an alternative and those are things that we’re working through at the moment.”

Residents can look forward to announcements of what’s to come in Santa’s stead at Prairie Mall closer to the holiday season.

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