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Santa surprises with early visit

An impromptu appearance by Santa Claus in a Thunder Bay neighbourhood brought some early Christmas cheer

THUNDER BAY – The COVID-19 pandemic may have kept Santa Claus from visiting the Intercity mall this year, but he hasn’t forgotten about Thunder Bay.

The iconic figure made an impromptu appearance in the John Street neighbourhood Saturday, where he was greeted with honks and smiles by local residents.

Claus told Tbnewswatch he knew many in the city had gone through a tough year, and hoped the gesture would be one small way to lift people’s spirits.

“A lot of people are waving, a lot of people are stopping to say Merry Christmas,” he said. “I think it’s brightening up their day. Everybody has problems, so seeing someone doing this… I’m just hoping to bring cheer.”

Some passing motorists stopped to document the sighting with a picture – something Santa encouraged, with adequate physical distancing due to COVID-19.

Residents can expect some future appearances in the John Street/Red River Road area as Christmas approaches, he hinted.

“The kids are excited, and that’s what makes me feel good,” he said. “I’m loving it.”