Mahomet santa

Scenes from Mahomet’s 2019 holiday celebration.

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Mahomet-area youngsters can take their pick of how they want to see Santa this year.

Santa will be on hand during the village Christmas parade through all the neighborhoods in town. He will be one tired guy after the parade, set for Dec. 12, which is expected to last for about four hours to make it through all the neighborhoods beginning at 1 p.m.

Matt Difanis will provide music, and Santa will ride on a fire truck.

“It will be easy to track where Santa is,” said Walter Pierce, executive director of the Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the parade for the first time. “Come outside and watch Santa drive by.”

Parade participants will begin assembling about noon at Mahomet-Seymour High School.

For traffic safety, the parade will be limited to three to five vehicles, including Santa on the fire truck, a police car and Difanis for music.

“We may add another one or two unique vehicles if we can arrange,” Pierce said.

Things have changed a lot due to COVID-19, Pierce said. People with a sweet tooth will have to get their snacks elsewhere, as candy won’t be thrown.

Also out due to the pandemic is the annual breakfast with Santa. Instead, virtual events will be held in which parents can sign their children up for personalized visits with the man in red on their computer. To prepare Santa for his talk with the children, parents should send in a personalized form with their child’s name and age, what they want for Christmas and a drawing by the child.

Pierce said the chamber started that approach a couple of years ago to help the conversation flow for those children who were shy when it came time to tell Santa what they wanted. The visits will last for about five minutes.

A follow-up letter will also sent by Santa for those parents who want them.

Santa will also be available at a drive-thru event from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4 and 11 at Yo Yo’s. Santa and visitors will be able to talk using two-way speakers.

— Dave Hinton