Neither snow nor rain nor a pandemic can keep Santa Claus from making his first stop of the holiday season in Cranberry Township — although this year's visit will look a little different.
With the annual Santa's First Stop event canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19-related gathering limitations, the Jolly Old Elf will instead make his way to the township to flip the switch on holiday lights and visit residents on Santa's Jingle Bell Tour.
Virtual First Stop
Cranberry is still Santa's First Stop — with a twist.
The township's Facebook page will be the place to watch at 7 p.m. Friday as Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by fire truck to light up the municipal center, tour the Cranberry tree gallery and read a story to children and adults alike.
Santa's Jingle Bell Tour
Santa will return to visit the township not in a winter sleigh, but atop one of the fire company's fire engines from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 5.
The tour will be led by Cranberry Township Fire, Police and EMS crews, who will direct Santa through Community, North Boundary and Graham parks. Residents are invited to gather at a safe social distance in the park nearest their home to welcome Santa to the township.
Santa will not stop for individual photographs, but it'll be a great opportunity for families to see Santa as the holiday season begins.
The tour will travel from the Route 19 Fire Station to Community Park, North Boundary Park, Graham Park and the Municipal Center, finishing at the First Station.
Holiday Village Market
The celebration will continue from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 5 with a new community event at the Municipal Center.
The Holiday Village Market is a continuation of a partnership between the township and the Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber.
This free community event encourages the region to shop local and support small businesses. It will feature holiday vendors, food trucks, live music and children's activities. Social distancing will be in place with masks required to attend.