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No Santa rides this year; AVFR holds holiday collection

Another tradition has been canceled this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each year around Christmas, members of both Abingdon Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue escort Santa Claus around on a fire truck in neighborhoods in their respective service areas.

Both departments announced last week that, out of concern over COVID-19, they will have to forego the tradition in 2020.

“Unfortunately, due to the closeness of kids and Santa we didn’t see a good safe option this year,” said Rob Parlett of AVFR. “Obviously the circumstances this year have made us make a number of difficult decisions and this was a big one. We have been assisting Santa for almost 40 years; we shall return though next season.”

“Unfortunately GVFRS will not be escorting Santa through our response area this season due to the concerns with the public safety and the safety of our first responders,” according to a Facebook post Friday. “This was not an easy decision to mak...

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