KITCHENER -- There are 71 days until Christmas, but Santa Claus parades are often the unofficial community start to the festive season. With ongoing pandemic restrictions, Santa's appearances will once again either look different, or have been cancelled.

In Guelph, for a second year in a row, there will be no parade.

“The idea of trying to keep people social distanced, in family bubbles or everybody wearing masks, it's just a logistic nightmare,” said Marty Williams, the Executive Director of the Downtown Guelph Business Association and parade committee.

Instead, Santa will appear at the Sparkle in the Park event in Riverside Park, organized by the rotary club during the last week of November.

In North Dumfries, their usual parade has also been cancelled. The parade committee tells CTV News in part, ”we are currently investigating an alternative way to bring Santa to the village of Ayr and surrounding township.”

In Hespeler, the usual parade has been cancelled, but they are hoping to host a drive-thru style event.

According to the City of Cambridge, their parade committee is still working with public health on a plan.

The big man in red is booked for parade appearances in Kitchener and Waterloo in a drive-thru format. 

“We're still doing the reverse parade in both cities this year. It was very successful under the circumstances,” said Jack Bishop the chair for the Lions Club of Kitchener and chair of the Kitchener-Waterloo Santa Claus Parade.

Bishop adds the parade committee is looking forward to adding new floats this year.

The event in Kitchener is happening at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Nov. 20 and in Waterloo at RIM Park on Nov. 27. Both parades will have 10 a.m. start times.

“We want to have something on the street for the kids,” said Bishop. “With what we do with the Santa Claus parade it works, we proved that last year.” 

It will be first come first serve in Waterloo, but registration will be required in Kitchener through the city's website. This online registration opens up during the first week of November.