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27 Jan, Friday
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Montreal Families

Santa Claus parade cancelled for 2021

Santa Claus won’t be parading into town this year.

Montreal Centre-Ville, the organization that puts on the annual event, announced that the beloved parade would once again be cancelled “due to sanitary measures” and to prioritize the health and safety of the public.

Another year without Santa

A highly anticipated November tradition, the parade would see hundreds of families flock to Ste. Catherine St. to get a glimpse of the big man himself.  Cancelled last year as a result of public gathering restrictions, there were hopes that the parade would make its return this year as some semblance of normalcy returned to the city.

But Glenn Castanheira, head of the Montreal Centre-Ville merchants association, says bringing the parade back was a lot more complicated than expected. Despite efforts to reimagine and redesign the event to fit our new pandemic reality, it ultimately came down to adhering to the city’s public health measures. Castanheira says “it was really disappointing news for our whole team especially after last year’s cancellation – but of course, people’s safety always comes first.”

Other Christmas activities on tap

While the parade will certainly be missed again this year, there will be plenty of holiday cheer in store for the city. The Christmas Market will be back and bustling with festivities this year starting on Nov. 20 on Ste. Catherine St. The Win Your Purchases campaign will once again allow shoppers to play online for the chance to win the value of their purchases up to $250 courtesy of a business or restaurant downtown


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The countdown to Christmas will be even more fun this year with the launch of a new advent calendar on December 1. The calendar, available both digitally and physically, will reveal surprises such as activities, free days at the museum, prizes and discounts. There will also be surprise activities taking place around the city starting the last weekend of November and continuing every weekend throughout the holidays. 

Even though it’s another year without Santa in town, rest assured that his elves are already busy preparing for next Christmas. Castanheira says “we’re truly optimistic that if everyone keeps doing their part, the Santa Claus parade will be back next year with more fanfare, storytelling, and holiday cheer than ever before. After all, next year will be the parade’s 70th anniversary, so families can expect us to pull out all the stops for Santa’s long-awaited return to the city.”

For more information about Christmas programming, click here.

Related read: Send a letter to Santa … and get one back

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