Posted: October 15, 2020


Petrolia – Following up on a promise to provide more information about the Christmas celebrations in Petrolia, the events team and Community Services Advisory Committee are pleased to confirm that Christmas in Petrolia will proceed with a few changes this year.

After careful consideration and discussions with our community partners, we are pleased to announce the following activities:

In place of the annual Christmas in the Park event there are still plans to decorate Victoria Park and to light the lights. Residents are asked not to gather for the lighting of the lights as it will be a virtual event, available online only. The lights will be turned on with the same ceremony at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4, 2020. The lighting event will be broadcast on Facebook, and available on YouTube, and will remain available after the event for those that miss the broadcast.

The Lambton Central Petrolia Optimist Club Angel Tree names, and the Angel Tree will be visible in the window of BrokerLink Insurance.

The annual Chili Cook Off has been cancelled for 2020 in observation of the importance for residents to maintain physical distance, service clubs to maintain physical distance when they would be preparing the chili and to actively encourage residents to enjoy a takeout meal from a Petrolia restaurant to show them support.

In place of the traditional wagon rides and live nativity scene, and roasted marshmallows, residents and business owners are asked to submit their address to be included on the “Magical Tour of Lights” a driving map of Christmas light and decorations throughout Petrolia from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4, 2020. To participate, Petrolia residents and business owners simply need to submit their address to twagner@petrolia.ca and ensure that their home or business is decorated and that the lights are on for the tour. The map will be made available in the week leading up to the event.

“…There are a few surprises planned for the “Magical Tour of Lights” and we can’t wait for you to see them.” Said Dave Menzies, Director of Community Services and Facilities.

As previously announced, the December 5, 2020 Petrolia Santa Claus parade has been cancelled. This decision was a difficult one for staff to make, but it would be far too difficult for staff to limit the public gathering to the Provincial maximum of 100 people along the parade route. Additionally, consideration was made for the expenses that participants would incur in a year when fundraising has been difficult.

December 5 will still mark the arrival of Santa Claus! Santa has confirmed that he is available to greet the residents of Petrolia. This year, there is no need to load up the car or bundle up the kids, Santa Claus is coming to you! He will arrive in Petrolia around 9:00 a.m. and with help from a Petrolia and North Enniskillen Fire Department escort, he will visit every street, except where not possible due to his turning radius, in Petrolia by noon! How will residents know when Santa Claus is close by? Families are asked to listen for the sirens and then greet Santa Claus from your porch or front yard at a safe distance. Please do not approach Santa’s float or the fire trucks and please do not enter the roadway for your safety.

If you are wondering how Santa Claus will get your Christmas Letters and Wish Lists this year, he has advised the Town Hall that he will be responding to e-mails and letters. He has asked that e-mails be sent to letterstosanta@petrolia.ca and he will reply. Santa is also making his personal mailbox available for letters and wish lists at a public appearance later in the day.

The Lambton Central Petrolia Optimist Club along with the Petrolia Camera Club have confirmed that Santa Claus will be making an appearance at the Petrolia Farmers’ Market this year instead of his usual stop at “The Centre” (The Petrolia YMCA). Santa felt that he can easily socially distance with those wishing for a photo this year by offering to greet them outside, and post in the same photo, but six feet or more apart. Through the magic of photography, the photo will be well-staged and printed onsite so that families may take home a memory of their visit. Several volunteers will be present to ensure that the gathering numbers are not exceeded and that physical distancing requirements are met and exceeded. Letters to Santa can be dropped off in the special mailbox at this event. This “Santa at the Market” event will run from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Participants are reminded to dress for the weather, as this event will take place outdoors in any weather under the Market pavilion and are asked to wear masks until requested to remove them for the photos.

“2020 has been a year of changing our protocols to ensure that physical distancing is maintained, and for following provincial guidelines for gathering limitations and following the changing Provincial rules. As a community we have worked well together to meet these changes and challenges and we will do the same with our planned Christmas activities” Said Dave Menzies, Director of Community Services and Facilities.

Should you go:

Friday, December 4, 2020
6:00 p.m. – virtual lighting of the lights
6:00 – 9:00 p.m. – Magical Tour of Lights – maps available December 1

Saturday, December 5, 2020
9:00 a.m. – noon – Santa will tour Petrolia with an escort to greet families at their residence
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Santa at the Market hosted by the Lambton Central Petrolia Optimist Club and The Petrolia Photography Club

E-mails and letters to Santa will be accepted until December 15, 2020 and will receive replies.