Santa Claus isn’t coming to town.
St. Nick won’t meet kids at Macy’s flagship Manhattan store this year — halting a 160-year-old holiday tradition, the company said Thursday.
Even the jolly man in red doesn’t want to take any chances with COVID-19 in the shop’s often-crowded Santaland display, where tots are normally invited to sit on Santa’s lap.
During a pandemic, it’s too difficult to create a safe environment inside the store, where roughly a quarter million people typically visit St. Nick each year, Macy’s said.
Instead, the company will offer kids free online tours of Santa’s workshop and a chance to take virtual selfies with Kris Kringle.
“Moving to a virtual engagement will safely bring the magic of Santa Claus to children of all ages this year,” Macy’s said in a statement.
Santa also won’t show up at the company’s Chicago and San Francisco stores. But he will still appear at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade — which this year will be pre-taped with no crowd.
The owners of some large malls, including the Southpark Mall in Virginia, will still offer in-person visits this year, while banning kids from sitting on Santa’s lap and requiring social distancing.
Santa Claus has drawn crowds at Macy’s in Manhattan since the early 1860s. In 1947, Macy’s had a starring role in the classic film “Miracle on 34th Street,” where a girl finds the real Santa inside the shop.
With Post Wires
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