Ho Ho No: Barrie Santa Claus Parade and Downtown tree lighting celebrations cancelled for 2020

Chamber of Commerce and Barrie BIA concerned with public health risks

COVID-19 is raining on another parade.

The Barrie Chamber of Commerce announced on Friday it will be cancelling the annual Santa Claus parade while the downtown Barrie Business Association (Barrie BIA) has pulled the plug on its tree lighting ceremony for 2020, both due to concerns brought about by COVID-19.

“Both organizations were hopeful about bringing these long-time favourites to the downtown this Christmas season, but organizers have made the difficult decision to cancel them due to the public health risks associated with mass gatherings,” reads a joint statement from the Chamber and Barrie BIA.

Both events were anticipated for Saturday, November 21. Despite this, some Noella events are expected to go ahead, including the Rotary Festival of Trees in Meridian Place and Heritage Park, along with festive window displays in downtown businesses.