Santa returns to Norwalk Town Square holiday festival

Santa+lands+in+the+Norwalk+town+square+for+their+annual+Christmas+festival.+The+event+was+canceled+last+year+but+was+able+to+be+held+on+Dec.+11%2C+2021.

Vincent Medina

Santa lands in the Norwalk town square for their annual Christmas festival. The event was canceled last year but was able to be held on Dec. 11, 2021.

Vincent Medina, Managing Editor

Children and parents cheered as Santa Clause landed his helicopter in the Norwalk town square on Saturday after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented his visit last year. Santa’s visit was part of the square’s annual holiday festival where kids came to play carnival games, rock climb, ride a train and sled down a mound of real snow.

While the pandemic is still ongoing, officials deemed Santa’s visit and the festival could continue safely as approximately 67.1% of Norwalk residents ages five and up are vaccinated.

“I see a lot of joy on the kids’ faces as they socialize and we get back to normal,” said Danny Mondragon.

The Cerritos College alumnus was eager to bring his family to the event after missing their holiday tradition in 2020. He hopes the event encourages everyone to stay safe and get vaccinated so it is not taken away again.

“We missed the excitement of it all, and it was strange to be by ourselves,” said Mondragon. “Being back here brings back a sense of nostalgia. It’s a good feeling.”

Santa’s visit also served as a reminder to parents to continue observing COVID-19 safety restrictions so more events can safely return and to reduce the spread of the virus.

“This is our first time here,” said Erica Rodriguez. “It feels good that events like this are coming back and we’re coming back as a community.”

Rodriguez brought her children and her nieces and nephews to the festival after they missed community events last year.

 

Danny Mondragon watches as his son slides down a mound of snow. The Cerritos College alumnus brought his family to the Norwalk town square for their Christmas festival on Dec. 18, 2021. (Vincent Medina)

 

“We missed the firework show, I used to go every year. It’s good that everyone is getting back together like this,” said Rodriguez. “Hopefully it encourages people to stay safe, social distance, wear a mask and get vaccinated.”

The LA County resident stated that she is vaccines, and plans to vaccinate her children since they are eligible to receive the shot.

Norwalk has also encouraged anyone eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is FDA approved for ages 16 and older and is under emergency authorization for kids five to 11.

Despite the evidence and doctors’ recommendations, some parents insist that neither they nor their children will receive the vaccine.

“I’m pretty much against [getting vaccinated]. I’m not really into that,” said Jose Reyes, as he waited for his daughter to perform at the festival.

Reyes says that he and his family are cautious and obey safety restrictions. They continue to wear masks around others, social distance, avoid movie theaters or large public areas.

“I do want [the pandemic] to be over, but I’m not willing to get vaccinated. My mentality is firmly against that,” said Reyes.

While he acknowledged that COVID cases and deaths have declined since the vaccine became available to the public, Reyes insisted that he would not receive the vaccine

Those who are against receiving the vaccine argue against its efficacy since people can still contract COVID after vaccination.

Doctors continue to emphasize that the Pfizer vaccine is 96% effective and reduces hospitalization.