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Sparkles in The Park and Santa Claus get the drive-by treatment this year

The traditional light show will be a drive-thru affair with Santa on hand for five days in December
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A family enjoys the Rotary Club of Guelph’s Sparkles in the Park in 2017. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday file photo

It will be a drive-by Sparkles In The Park this year, with Santa Claus also on hand for several days just before Christmas.

The Downtown Guelph Business Association, organizers of the traditional Santa Claus parade that was cancelled this year, has partnered with the Rotary Club of Guelph to create a "safe and merry experience" for the community, says a news release.

Sparkles in the Park has been organized by the Rotary Club of Guelph for over 25 years and sees tens of thousands of colourful lights installed in Riverside Park during the festive season. Launching this year on Dec. 19 and lighting up Riverside Park until Dec. 31st, Santa will be in attendance from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec.  19 to Dec. 23.

This is a drive-thru event only (entering the park through the stone pillars entrance on Woolwich Street and exiting on to Marilyn Drive). Drivers will be required to keep moving and not exit their vehicles as they enjoy the illuminations.

All parking will be eliminated inside the park during the light show.

Parade organizer Sam Jewell said “we’ve seen parades in other communities change to the drive-by model.  With something as wonderful as Sparkles in the Park already taking place, it seemed like an obvious choice to place Santa amongst such magic and we’re delighted the Rotary Club agreed."

Rotary’s Sparkles In The Park 2020 co-chair Paul Taylor said “We thank the Downtown Guelph Business Association for their sponsorship this year and their help in securing Santa’s visits to Rotary’s Sparkles in the Park. Tens of thousands of children and their parents and grandparents have made it a tradition for generations to visit the many displays erected by volunteers in the park. It is true that with all Guelph has to offer, families don’t have to leave the city to bring joy and wonderment to their kids of all ages. From 1 to 101, Sparkles makes you smile.”


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