Now officials in Ludowici, Georgia, must grapple with an unsettling aftermath: the guests of honor tested positive for Covid-19 after the event on December 10.
After participating in the Long County Chamber of Commerce parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus were also at a “well attended” tree lighting and an event where an estimated 50 children took a photo with Santa.
In the same news release, Parker offered a mixed message, saying that the incident was both a “cause for concern” and that he did “not feel this incident is cause for panic.” He said that both of his children were part of the estimated number that had taken their photo with Santa.
“I have personally known both ‘Santa’ and ‘Mrs. Claus’ my entire life and I can assure everyone that they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger,” Parker said. “They have both filled these roles for many years, and bringing joy to children during the holidays is one of the most important parts of their lives.”
The Long City Commissioners have decided not to cancel any other holiday-themed events for the remainder of the season.
Parker says that he speaks for the majority of the commission in saying that they plan to move forward with other holiday traditions in order to bring “some sense of normalcy” to the pandemic.
CNN has reached out to Parker for comment.