COLORADO SPRINGS — The pandemic has changed so many traditions, but during the holiday season, several groups have found ways to make sure families still get to see and interact with Santa Claus. This tradition may look a little different, but many are finding comfort in even a bit of normality.
Every interaction and site where Santa is available for pictures and conversations are a bit different involving some combination of social distancing, plexiglass panels, masks, and hand sanitizer.
We were afraid we couldn't see Santa this year," commented one person visiting Santa at the Bass Pro Shop in Colorado Springs.
"So doing something that we do every year, still being able to do it even with some restrictions is good," stated another family.
For example, folks who are heading to Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City will interact with Santa through an acrylic panel as on-site staff work to disinfect the photo staging area in between family visits.
Those headed over to Bass Pro Shop are also separated from Santa by an acrylic panel which is sanitized between visits. Santa is also wearing a mask.
Those families that are visiting Santa Joe are taking photos several feet away from the Jolly Ol' Elf and the entire staging area is based outside.
"We've already lost so much this year," said one family visiting Santa Joe, "and this is a tradition, and we didn't have to lose it because he made it happen."
"I miss the kids and want to hug them," commented Santa Joe, "and it's really sad because they come up to the fence and I want to hug them and I say, 'I can't, but hug your mom and dad, hug each other,' because we're not meant to be alone."
These are just a few of the places that have been hosting visits with Santa, and it's just one more way that Colorado Springs and the surrounding area are working towards the goal of staying open, but in a safe way.