Santa will be joyriding around Penticton Thursday Dec. 24, 2020. (Contributed)

Santa will be joyriding around Penticton Thursday Dec. 24, 2020. (Contributed)

Santa plans drive-by in Penticton

Old Saint Nick himself will make a special, distanced appearance this Christmas Eve

Despite not being able to visit kids up close and personal this year, Santa is still making sure Penticton kids get a chance to see him this Christmas.

Santa Claus — or Penticton’s Gary Haupt — has planned a drive-by tour of the city today (Dec. 24) from 3 to 5 p.m.

Santa will make sure he hits as many streets as he can and sees as many kids as possible, but it will be difficult to make it everywhere, he said.

“The unfortunate part is that people want me to come to their home on their street and some of those people are going to be disappointed because I’m not going to be able to come to every street in town,” Haupt said.

Santa encourages people to leave their homes to find him if they don’t live within viewing distance, as long as they don’t gather in groups.

Santa has broken the city down into three zones which he will drive through one at a time. Zone One (west) is bounded by Lakeshore Drive, Industrial Avenue and Main Street. Zone Two (east) is bounded by Main St. and Industrial Ave. while Zone Three (south) is everywhere south of Industrial Ave.

There will be live updates on Santa’s location that can be tracked on a Facebook page called Santa 2020 Christmas Eve Drive-by Penticton.

Haupt, who has been known as Penticton’s famous Santa for five years, said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to give kids a bit of joy this Christmas.

“It’s such a gift to be able to have an impact like that on people’s lives,” he said. “It truly is a labour of love.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Santa Claus cleared for arrival in Canada

READ MORE: Live from the North Pole: Santa sending personalized greetings to Penticton kids

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