Grand Forks will have a drive-by parade featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus Friday, Dec. 4.
Beverly Osachoff of the city’s parade committee said the Christmas inaugural will be a mix of continuity and change. The committee had to weigh the joy of the holiday season against ever stringent social distancing requirements amid the ongoing pandemic.
“With all the chaos that 2020 has brought us — with all the uncertainty and the changes and all the anxiety of that — it’s really important to let the kids in our community know that some things are constant and always so. The reliability of something like Santa Claus is important,” she told The Gazette.
But this year’s event will be a parade in name only. Santa and Mrs. Claus will drive past people’s homes, following a pre-planned route around Grand Forks. And it will fall to the city to light up the Christmas display at Gyro Park.
“We have to meet a couple of safety objectives. One of them is to set it up in such a way that it enables safe distancing for everyone who’s participating. Another is that we need to minimize the potential to create situations where we might inadvertently draw a crowd, because we don’t want that.”
On a happier note, Osachoff said the committee was excited to see Mrs. Claus take part in this year’s COVID-constrained festivities.
“We’re not always able to get her, because she’s really busy,” she said.
Osachoff is asking residents to direct their questions to the parade committee at 250-666-0005.
The parade begins at 7 p.m. Friday.