The province is removing capacity limits at large-scale outdoor events, which would allow for full capacity Santa Claus parades and Remembrance Day ceremonies. However, there isn’t enough time to put one together for the City of Barrie.
The amendment to capacity rules received the final thumbs up at Queen’s Park on Wednesday, lifting limits for all organized public events held outdoors. However, this leaves just 19 days for the Barrie Chamber of Commerce to put together a Santa Claus Parade in the city. Even less for the local Legion branch to prepare a revised Remembrance Day ceremony.
“There’s a lot of planning that goes into planning a parade of this size,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Paul Markle. “Generally, we would start planning this the day after it ends every year, and planning in earnest really starts in August.”
“You have to make a decision at one point as to whether you’re going to be able to go forward, and it’s really a matter of planning at this point,” added Markle. “That is the issue, not so much what the provinces doing, or the health units are doing.”
Markle says the Chamber has paired up with the Barrie BIA for a special tree lighting ceremony on November 20, the day a parade would have been held otherwise. Details are still in the works.
The city’s Remembrance Day ceremony is expected to take the same form as it did a year prior; it is anticipated this year’s ceremony will be a more private event, with a limited number of attendees.
Wednesday’s capacity limit lifting will also allow for ski hills and other outdoor recreational facilities to operate at full capacity. Outdoor private gatherings will continue to be limited to 100 people for now.