WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Wilkes-Barre City Mayor George Brown announced changes to the city’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony to mitigate COVID-19 exposure risk.

The annual parade will be condensed from previous years and will now take place November 24 at 4:30 p.m. The parade route will start on South Main Street, continue down Main Street, around Public Square and end on North Main Street. The Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place immediately following the parade.

Eyewitness News spoke to Mayor Brown regarding the effort to reduce large public gatherings.

“The parade is not meant for spectators. They can come out and can social distance, they have to wear a mask. Naturally, we are not going to stop someone from coming out, but the whole idea is conforming to CDC requirements.”

Santa will also make a special visit and present the first gift to 7-year-old Nathan Gray, who continues to bravely battle cancer.