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Candy Cane Lane is no more.
The drive-thru Christmas parade, an inspiring eleventh-hour initiative between Hoodoo Adventures and the City of Penticton to compensate for the pandemically-cancelled 2020 Santa Claus Parade, has fallen victim to the latest round of BC government distancing measures.
Announced on Nov. 18th and scheduled for Dec. 13th at the SOEC parking lot, it has now officially been cancelled.
But it's not entirely a bad news scenario.
Based partially on the overwhelming response to Candy Cane Lane in the days since its announcement, Hoodoo's pushing forward with an alternative concept that doesn't run the same potential risks.
It's called "Holiday Spirit Map," and if everything comes together as Hoodoo co-owner Lyndie Hill hopes it will, it'll turn Penticton's retail and business zones into a festive wonderland that folks can enjoy at their leisure.
"We're super disappointed that we had to cancel Candy Cane Lane," said Hill. "We had 250 cars sign up for time slots in a matter of minutes when it was first announced. And we had a lot of people disappointed they even didn't get a time slot."
Hill explained that that the recent government mandate expires on Dec. 7th, six days before the planned parade. But, she added, "It's clear that any type of event where people are gathering is not going to be okay, and there's a pretty good chance the health order will extend past the 7th.
"So we didn't want to cancel at the last minute."
According to Hill, Holiday Spirit Map, conceived by Hoodoo alone, came about because "we wanted to focus on the things we can do and not the things we can't do."
"The community has experienced a lot of hardship lately, and we don’t want to let them down. We want to make sure there's something special for kids and their families to celebrate the holiday season."
Starting today, Hoodoo is inviting local businesses to decorate their storefront and upon completion send an email alert. Each participating business then gets highlighted on the Holiday Spirit Map, which Hoodoo will post on its website and social media pages and send to those who signed up for the parade.
"And we're encouraging people to take photos of themselves or a storefront or a favourite decoration and post it to social media and hashtag Holiday Spirit Map and Hoodoo Adventures. We'll draw a prize -- a basket from participating businesses and Hoodoo Adventures."
Hill is also seeking involvement from organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Penticton Association.
The business registration deadline is this Saturday, Dec 5th. Decorations should be installed by the 11th. The event will run from the 11th through Christmas Day.
For more information, head to the Hoodoo Adventures website. Business entries can be submitted to [email protected]