Brooklyn and Keira Delaney chat with Santa before their photo at ValleyFair Mall during the 2019 Christmas season. (The News files)

Brooklyn and Keira Delaney chat with Santa before their photo at ValleyFair Mall during the 2019 Christmas season. (The News files)

Santa will arrive in Maple Ridge despite pandemic

ValleyFair Mall says changes will make visits and photos safe

The ValleyFair Mall’s popular Santa Claus visits will happen again this Christmas season, despite the Coronavirus, and so many special occasions being cancelled.

There won’t be any sitting on Santa’s lap during this time of social distancing, nor a long line of parents and children waiting for a chance to get into Santa’s Village, but he will be at the Maple Ridge venue.

Nicole Archer, the mall administrator, said good photos can be had safely, with a well placed piece of glass and some professional lighting.

READ ALSO: Christmas will be different even if Santa is ‘probably’ immune to COVID, says B.C. top doctor

The appeal of the ValleyFair Mall’s Santa Claus visits are the time kids get to spend talking with St. Nick. He knows so much about them, and what they have been up to, it’s almost like he has an open line of communication.

“It’s a magical conversation,” said Archer. “Santa knows who they are, and their teachers, and all the things that make it fun.”

She said parents drive their children from as far away as Kamloops for the experience, said Archer. There have been a lot of phone calls and emails asking whether he will be back this year.

READ ALSO: Chamber releases best of best nominee list

This year Santa’s cabin will be a workshop, and the photos will feature children in the foreground, with Santa behind them.

There will be no drop-ins and no queue. Every visitor must book an appointment online at by Nov. 21.

Santa will arrive on Nov. 28.

“We are making Christmas merry and bright at ValleyFair mall, regardless of the situation,” said Archer.

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