Santa will not be sliding down Albert Street in his sleigh this year as the annual Santa Claus parade has been cancelled.
With a month of notice, Southland Mall, which has hosted the annual parade for several years, has announced it will not hold a parade this year but will host an alternate event inside the mall. In a news release, the mall promises to “decorate, celebrate, welcome Santa and create a memorable and magical adventure for everyone.”
Richard Dillabough is the regional manager for Strathallen Property Management which manages Southland Mall. He said they looked at the parade from a local market perspective and to increase the engagement in the community.
“It was a very, very difficult decision to change our course on the parade, but the parade was becoming more difficult to run over the last number of years,” Dillabough said.
He said the mall hopes to refocus efforts on charitable initiatives to help families in need and community engagement in lieu of a physical parade.
When asked what type of charitable initiative the mall might be planning, Dillabough said they are still working on it.
“We’re looking to the community to basically reach out to us and we’re also reaching out to the community to find out where are some of these misses in the community and what can we kind of get behind and help support,” Dillabough explained.
Dillabough added the mall would be open to potentially being a sponsor of the parade in future years.
Southland Mall said it hopes to have former community partners that previously participated in the parade help with the transition and focus on the alternate opportunities to work together for the holiday season.