Oakville Holiday Cheer Goes Virtual

STORY BY ESMERALDA PENATE, AIDAN FOY, KI YOUNG LEE

COVID 19 may have caused gathering restrictions, but holiday cheer will still thrive.

The town of Oakville has decided to cancel the Santa Claus parade this year because of gathering restrictions and instead host multiple virtual and adjusted events to keep holiday cheer thriving. Santa will be coming to Oakville and sitting down for an in-person fireside chat with Mayor Rob Burton on Saturday, November 21 at 9 a.m.

The chat will be physically distanced and we’ll be shared online on the Oakville Santa Claus Parade website for all to enjoy. Viewers can join the chat by taking a short video asking a question and send it to event@oakville.ca, and if selected the video will be shared online and played for Santa to answer selected questions with the Mayor, according to Oakville.ca

“I think everybody who has little kids or ever raised little kids knows how important Santa is to their Christmas plans and we’re looking forward to giving the kids the reassurance that they can get from knowing that Santa’s still coming”

said Mayor Rob Burton

Santa Claus waving his hand through a colourfully lit window (Tim Mossholder / unsplash)

Oakville will also continue its annual colouring contest virtually this year. Cartoonist Steve Nease has created this year’s contest artwork and the colouring sheets are now downloadable. Artists 10 years of age and younger are invited to colour the artwork to have a chance to win a phone call from Santa.

All video and colouring contest and entries must be received by Sunday, November 15 to events@oakville.ca, and the winners will be broadcasted on November 21. The Oakville Santa Claus Parade website has more information on the contest details, submission guidelines, and downloadable colouring sheets. 

“As a former television producer speaking generally about all events, in my view, making television shows are probably easier and sometimes better than real-life events. But most of us hope to be able to return to real events, in real-time, with real people, because one of the best parts of life is seeing, talking and interacting with other people.”

said Mayor Rob Burton

The Holiday Food and Toy Drive will also continue to thrive in the town of Oakville this year as The Oakville Professional Firefighters Association is launching its 28th annual holiday food and toy drive, only this year, gift cards are now requested by The Fire Department instead of toys and food items. Between November 21 and December 18, donations can be dropped off at any Town of Oakville community centre or library. For more on Oakville’s Christmas sharing guide visit opl.ca.

Beautifully lit Christmas tree on festival street (Jung Ho Park / unsplash)

There are also multiple other online and in-person events to look forward to in the Halton region including learning to needle a felt Santa Claus figure online event, Royal Botanical Garden’s Winter Wonders, Burlington’s Festival Of Lights, and Oakville’s tree lighting ceremony that will most likely be online or broadcasted in some way either on youtube, oakville.ca or cable tv. These and more events can be found on InsideHalton.com

Rest assured, Santa will still be making his regular stop in Oakville on December 24 as his usual delivery route and Oakville families are reminded that they can reach Santa via mail by Canada Post and letters can be sent to Santa Claus, North Pole, HOH OHO, no postage is required. Mayor Rob Burton says he hopes that the online events will be a satisfactory substitute, for now, for these important connecting events that all communities depend upon.

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