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Santa returns to Tucson with COVID regulations

Posted at 9:11 AM, Nov 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-28 11:11:17-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Santa is back in Tucson and ready for some COVID-friendly visits.

"For people they’re adjusting to a new normal now, but I don’t know that anybody’s dying to sit on Santa’s lap,” said Jane McCollum, General Manager for the Marshall Foundation.

For the next three Sundays, Santa will be at Main Gate Square, sitting behind a plexiglass snow globe.

“This whole thing was created, was designed with kids in mind, safety in mind,” Santa Claus said.

Anyone that visits has to sit in front of Santa with the plexiglass in between.

“It takes pictures beautifully, but it's safe, it's a protective shield so that nobody in the time of pandemic needs to be afraid,” Santa said.

Santa will also be at Reid Park Zoo.

“It is part of our zoo lights holiday festival with holiday lights and festivities and displays and entertainment throughout the zoo,” said Deborah Carr, Director of Marketing at Reid Park Zoo.

He’ll be sitting outside near the zebras every evening from December 3rd to the 23rd.

“Last year we had quite a different set up for Santa, we were in the middle of the pandemic and Santa was in his sleigh about eight feet back from the public,” Carr said.

This year, the zoo will not have separation between Santa and visitors. Anyone can sit or stand near Santa to take pictures and read their wishlist.

“It is almost back to normal and of course we do watch the situation everyday with regard to the pandemic," Carr said. "And should conditions change we will be flexible and go into whatever that new situation might be.”

Santa usually stops by foothills mall, but a spokesperson says he wont be there this year.

There will be Santa appearances for the following:

  • Santa at Reid park zoo, everyday from 6-8 p.m. December 3-23
  • Santa at Main Gate Square, every Sunday through Dec. 19, 1-4 p.m.
  • *Santa at Foothills Mall, canceled