CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Photos with Santa Claus are still being offered at the Bass Pro Shops in Concord Mills, but a number of safety measures have been put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Eric Winter, the general manager of the store, said Sunday was the first day that people could come see Santa for pictures.
Winter explained that temperature checks are required before customers can see Santa. Santa also wears a face shield and has a see-through barricade separating him from children. The bench where kids sit for photos is wiped down between each visit.
“It’s a little different, but 2020′s been a little different so we want to make sure we provide an environment that’s safe for everybody,” said Winter.
Latasha Chenault brought her daughter to see Santa Monday night. The little girl spoke to Santa through the clear barricade and smiled for photos.
“She’s seven and these years are precious and we just want to take every minute of it and enjoy it,” said Chenault.
Despite the pandemic, there are options when it comes to speaking with Santa this holiday season. Simon Malls advertises Santa photos with a socially-distanced holiday experience on its website. Additionally, the online Chit-Chat with Santa service allows users to book virtual meetings with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Parents at Bass Pro Shops Monday night seemed pleased with the experience they were getting.
“This is great. It’s a blessing. Not many people are still doing things,” said parent Adam Abshari.
Winter said safety was the top priority when his team was setting up the Santa display.
“Hopefully, what you see tonight will kind of show you that we’re taking efforts to make sure that we’re providing an environment that’s great for everybody, to where everybody can still have a little normalcy in 2020,” said Winter.
He said customers will be able to see Santa until Christmas Day.