There will be no visits with Santa Claus at Park Place Mall this year.

The shopping centre released a statement Thursday saying Santa and the mall have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event out of an abundance of caution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The release said Santa’s annual experience is a cherished holiday tradition but the safety of customers, employees, and the public remains the highest priority.

A virtual Santa experience is in the works for a few lucky winners, and Lethbridge residents are encouraged to visit the Park Place Mall Facebook page for details on the contest.