Santa Comes to San Jose — With COVID Restrictions

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It’s a holiday tradition for thousands of Bay Area families, but in 2020 don’t expect getting a picture with Santa to be anything like it was before.

With so much fun cancelled for 2020, it may come as a surprise that Santa is still coming to town. In fact, he’s already at Bass Pro Shops in San Jose for pictures.

“We debated quite a bit about whether we should carry the tradition on, especially being in Santa Clara County,” said Ann Lombana, a manager at the store. “But one thing we do, is we do not want to let the children down.”

So now, they’re up and running.

Parents will like that there is no line this year, because reservations have to be made online to help with social distancing.

“The kids enjoyed it, I think it was great to start joy early this year,” said Judith Montano of San Jose.

The store is taking many safety precautions. There are temperature checks and then hand sanitizer, right before meeting Santa, who is seated with a face shield behind plexiglass.

“I felt really safe doing it,” said Pamela McCracken of San Jose. “We’ve been taking the quarantine very seriously. So after being at home, and being able to spread a little bit of joy here, seeing Santa behind the plexiglass is still the same. He can still hear their wishes.”

The McCracken family had to make it after such a long year, and the kids, Wesley and Ashlynn, couldn’t wait.

“I don’t think quarantine has really been the best for kids, because we’re used to going out and having fun versus just sitting at home,” said Ashlynn. “But tonight is a good night because we still get to see Santa.”

There will also be Santa pictures at Valley Fair Mall and the Stanford Shopping Center that start in a couple weeks. Reservations will be required at those locations, too.

“It’s being able to bring joy to everybody, and not just the kids and the young,” Santa said. “It’s for the young at heart as well.”

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