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Yes, Virginia Dare, there will be a Santa Claus – but no parade

Manteo town manager James Ayers advised the Manteo Board of Commissioners that the traditional Manteo Christmas celebration, tree lighting gathering and parade will be canceled. He said after discussion with the county health director and Gov. Roy Cooper’s announced pause in easing restrictions due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, it would be impossible to hold the town sponsored Christmas events.

He vowed the town will find a way to celebrate. Ayers assured commissioners the town would be decorated, the tree on the waterfront would be lit and plans are in the works for Santa to visit,  tour and ride through Manteo neighborhoods.

Other seasonal celebrations will probably be virtual, including a residential home decorating contest and wreath decorating contest. Residents and businesses would submit photos of the entries to be judged and prizes awarded. A special mailbox could be placed in the town to drop off letters to Santa. Video could be incorporated in the celebration. Ayers said staff was still working on plans that would be announced in November.

Mayor Bobby Owens told the manager it was up to him to put on a “great Christmas show with plenty of lights, we just won’t be there [in person].”

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