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Santa Claus set to return to Holidays in Mission Plaza San Luis Obispo

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Angel Russell
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Holidays in Mission Plaza will be open Friday, Nov. 26 2021

Santa Claus is coming back to San Luis Obispo for the holiday season after the pandemic prevented him from showing up to Mission Plaza last year.

Crews are busy setting up the 45th annual holiday display at Mission Plaza, where Santa’s house and the attraction open this Friday.

CEO of Downtown SLO, Bettina Swigger, said this year the holiday display will look more normal with popular attractions returning.

“That includes Santa’s house, a classic carousel, a holiday tree, and some really fun light-up decorations,” Swigger said.

Last year, because of the pandemic, Santa Claus couldn’t come to town. He was instead replaced with a cardboard cut-out.

This year, Santa Claus is vaccinated and will be outside his famous house and big red sleigh to take pictures with children.

“All of the visits with kiddos will be taking place on Santa’s front lawn, so all of it will be outdoors," Swigger said. "The children will be invited to sit next to Santa instead of on Santa’s lap, just to keep everybody safe.”

Swigger said although the event is outdoors, everyone regardless of vaccination status is being asked to mask up.

This year’s theme will be a reflection of what the holidays are like in the Golden State.

“This year the theme, which was selected by some of our social media followers, is California Dreamin'," Swigger said. " Which feels pretty good especially given the very warm weather we’ve been having recently.”

The annual Holiday Parade will also return to San Luis Obispo on December 3 after being canceled last year.

For more information on Holidays in Mission Plaza, go to downtownslo.com.

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Angel Russell started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing guitar and piano, and hanging out with her dog and husband.
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