Kenora Mayor Dan Reynard says it was disheartening to see the cancellation of the CP Holiday Train and Kenora Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade recently, as they’ve both succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic and public safety restrictions.

“Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and these are two events that I love to attend. We take our grandchildren to them. The whole community looks forward to them.”

“It’s unfortunate, but I realize why they’re being cancelled. Hopefully this is a one-year blip, and we can start getting back to where we celebrate those traditions that we all look forward to every year.”

Last week, Kinsmen in Kenora announced the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Kenora Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade, and it won’t be running for the first time in 99 years in the community. However, a modified parade is still possible if restrictions loosen.

Two weeks ago, CP Rail announced that their annual CP Holiday Train will not run this year, although donations will still be made to local food banks. The program has been running since 1991, and has collected nearly 5 million pounds of food and $18 million for those in need.

Reynard says at this point, nothing has been set in stone for Kenora’s annual downtown Christmas tree lighting, but the Mayor expects to see an altered format this year.

“The Christmas Tree lighting is a partnership. The City finds the tree and puts it up, the lights are on and we do traffic control. The celebration itself is put on by the Downtown Biz.”

“As of today, I haven’t received official notification of what’s happening. My sense is unless something major happens, the lighting will occur in a different format from what we usually see, where we have hundreds of people gathered around the tree and in the museum. Unless something major happens, we’ll see some sort of change to that format.”

During usual years, community members would be invited into the Lake of the Woods Museum for refreshments and entertainment, with a visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus. The event typically takes place in late November.

For more information:
Kenora Kinsmen Santa Claus parade cancelled
CP puts brakes on Holiday Train