Juneau is promoting the return of a socially distant and Covid-minded Santa Claus parade later this month. The popular annual gathering typically draws large crowds of families and children along the streets of Alaska’s capital city.

Sponsored by local firefighters, the aim is to bring holiday cheer to Juneau, featuring Santa as the guest of honor atop a fire engine.

In announcing this year’s event, the City of Juneau published the parade routes and then used outdated CDC guidelines to warn participants to maintain a six-foot distance from “those outside your bubble,” while also instructing parade goers to take care to “wear masks when social distancing is not possible.”

Those directives, while familiar, are also several months out of date, according to the CDC. In August, the federal agency stopped its incessant recommendations that everyone keep six feet apart, and it no longer advocates for universal masking in public settings, regardless of whether people can maintain a six-foot distance from one another.

The outdated Juneau notice, however, appears to be tailored for those with heightened fears about the virus. It notes that all candy canes given out during the parade will be “individually wrapped and distributed by volunteers in masks.”

Overall, the Covid risk in Juneau is listed as “low,” with zero Covid patients hospitalized, according to the latest information from the CDC.

While photos of past parades show Santa hugging adoring children, it’s not clear that this year’s guidelines will allow for any up-close interactions with jolly old St. Nick.


— On Friday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m., Santa will begin his Mendenhall Valley route at Glacier Valley Elementary School and end at Glacier Valley Church of God.

— On Saturday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m., Santa will visit Gruening Park in Lemon Creek.

— On Saturday, Dec. 17, at 6 p.m., Santa will begin his Downtown and Douglas route at Mount Roberts Tramway and end at Douglas Fire Station.

For more information, visit or see the 2022 flier.

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Socially distant Santa returns to Juneau amid outdated Covid instructions

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • D Graf says:

    Juneau was rejected as the capitol of choice for Alaska and it was agreed upon legislatively to move the capitol long ago.
    This was to facilitate the election of those who had children and spouses with jobs far from Juneau to actually govern,
    bringing about a balance of power. It never happened and now we have boasting about perverse instruction of our children
    and outdated covid measures presented by Santa Claus?!?!? We have the money and the time–we should have moved when
    it was agreed to do so.

    • Neil DeWitt says:

      That would be to Willow last vote I heard. I agree, the capital should be where the people are not some hidden retreat place fir elected officials to play footsy with pages and secretaries.

  • NAV says:

    The move was voted on 3 times and the funding was approved twice but the corrupt politicians wouldn’t move it.

  • NAV says:

    Take your social distancing and stick it up your back side Juneau.

  • Mary says:

    Only in Juneau! So embarrassing sometimes to be an Alaskan. Perhaps it is time for Juneau to become a separate state and leave the rest of us alone.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Amen to what D Graf and NAV said…especially NAV’s 16:52 comment, but add masks!

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    I agree with Juneau needing a mayor that is in tune with the real world not the fake made up redacted version of, What used to be. Hey, that sounds like the Christmas Carol.

  • Andy says:

    I’m surprised they are not substituting Santa for a drag queen seeing how “woke” they are.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Why aren’t people making the connection?
    This is the fruit of dunleavy, shame him as he deserves!

  • CD says:

    Someone needs to bring Juneau up to date. If their this backwards on Covid, what else?