BURRILLVILLE – It won’t be Kris Kringle’s normal route through Burrillville, and those who hope to greet him are being asked not to gather in crowds.
But Santa Claus is still coming to town on Saturday, Dec. 19, with a rolling rally that will spread Christmas cheer along roughly seven miles of road.
A parade of more than 100 decorated vehicles, including jeeps, motorcycles, tow-trucks and Burrillville police cruisers will meet at Burrillville Middle School at 5 p.m. Saturday night. The rally will depart from the school at 6 p.m. and travel along Broncos Highway, East Avenue, Chapel Street, Pascoag Main Street, North Main Street, Grove Street, Laurel Hill Avenue, Sayles Avenue and The Bridgeway.
The event was organized by the First Responder Angels, a statewide organization formed earlier this year to support emergency personnel, and the 401 Jeep Wave Group, an informal organization of Jeep owners that takes part in events such as charity fundraisers and car shows.
The Pascoag Fire Department, along with other area fire departments will take part in the event, which offers locals a pandemic-friendly replacement for the Victorian Holiday, which was cancelled this year. Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the state, Pascoag firefighters did not hang lights in the village this year, limiting the risk for their volunteers. The lights are just one piece of a festive event that typically ends with an appearance by Santa riding atop a decorated firetruck.
In 2020, Santa will instead wave to Burrillville children in the rolling rally, and those who go out to greet him are asked to follow guidelines for social distancing and masks.
Organizers noted that the vehicles plan to make, “plenty of noise,” and that more roads may be added to the route, so residents should be on the lookout.