While kids can’t sit on Santa’s lap this year like they did in 2019, they can wave to him from afar during the Dec. 4 parade. Photo Zoë Strickland

Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce is organizing Santa parade, business holiday hop and more

Even though Santa is social distancing this year, he’s still making a stop in Cloverdale. As part of its trio of holiday-related events, the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce is organizing a neighborhood sleigh ride for Santa in place of its usual holiday festival. Additionally, the chamber is running a holiday house decorating contest and a holiday business hop to encourage community members to shop local.

“It’s going to be different this year,” chamber Executive Director Neena Hanchett said.

Holiday Hop

From Nov. 27 to Dec. 24, local participating businesses are taking part in a “holiday hop.”

The chamber has a candy cane card that lists all of the businesses participating and those who patronize and purchase things from the businesses will be entered to win a grand prize gift basket.

“When the card is signed off by people that actually make a purchase at these places, then they can win a $650 gift basket of hyper-local stuff,” Hanchett said.

Seeing Santa

On Friday, Dec. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m., Santa and some of his local friends will be riding around town for a neighborhood sleigh ride.

The parade will follow the same route as the Halloween parade. However, instead of starting at Jefferson Elementary and heading down Cloverdale Boulevard, the parade will be reversed — starting at Jefferson, going down Venezia Way to Jefferson Street and eventually ending up on Foothill Boulevard and taking Cloverdale Boulevard back to Jefferson (see the full map in the sidebar).

Like with Halloween, the chamber is having the parade go through some of Cloverdale’s main neighborhoods to encourage people to social distance rather than crowding all in one area.

“The families that are socially distanced and masked will get a candy cane and (non-edible) reindeer food,” Hanchett said.

Holiday Houses

In addition to the sleigh ride and the holiday hop, the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce is also facilitating a holiday house decorating contest. Those who decorate their house for the holidays can submit their home to be in the decorating contest by Dec. 20. The contest will likely be judged by Cloverdale’s incoming mayor and the winner will receive a prize.

“We’re doing another community deal because we want kids to smile and we want families to smile. We want to have fun during the holidays … hopefully it won’t rain six inches like it did last year,” Hanchett said, laughing.

While Cloverdale’s Plaza tree will be lit and lights will be wound around downtown lampposts, there won’t be a formal tree lighting this year.

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