Santa safety guard: COVID-19 won’t stop Old Saint Nick from visiting this Christmas

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 5:03 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -The Grinch won’t be stealing Christmas this year, and neither will COVID-19. Santa is coming to the Huntington Mall.

For father Ricky Clark, he’s looking forward to getting his daughter Raelyn Czerpak’s picture with Santa for the fourth year. As they walked around in awe at the Christmas tree, the duo reminisced on how last year’s picture went.

“You’ll get to sit on Santa’s lap, but there will be a lot of kids so we gotta be quick. Then we’re going to tell him what you want for Christmas,” Clark said, talking to Raelyn.

Kids this year won’t get to sit on Santa’s lap, but every Christmas wish will still be heard loud and clear.

The Santa safeguard is helping to continue traditions, despite the pandemic.

It’s an acrylic device that lets kids be close enough to Santa to share their wishes while protecting both of them from airborne particles.

“We can’t cancel Santa. We can’t cancel Christmas, and that’s why we’re making magical,” said Margi MacDuff, marketing director at the Huntington Mall. " Santa will be in his big green chair as he is every year, and in front of him will be a large acrylic shield and bench. Santa won’t have to wear a mask for pictures because he’s going to be protected by that acrylic shield."

Guests are asked to schedule five-minute appointments to get their pictures with Santa.

“We suggest everyone go to our website to schedule an appointment because of the necessity to clean the set in between every child’s visit. Appointments are going to get priority over walk-ins,” MacDuff said.

Reservations will also be required for storytime with Santa.

Santa will arrive Saturday at the Huntington Mall. Guests can watch his escort entrance at 10:30 a.m.

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