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Vancouver Santa Claus parade rerouted away from Occupy protest

Canucks Place Children's Hospice patient Amadaya Cooke, 8, (L), and her friend Kenzie Oyhenart, 9 ride with Santa Claus during the 7th annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade Dec. 5, 2010.

Brett Beadle for The Globe and Mail/brett beadle The Globe and Mail

The Occupy Vancouver protest has gotten in the way of Santa Claus.

The annual Santa parade in downtown Vancouver, which raises money for food banks, has been forced to change its route this year because of the continuing Occupy protest outside the city art gallery.

The parade usually passes right by the gallery, where the grounds are used for a Christmas Square, offering family entertainment and a drop-off spot for food bank donations.

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Parade officials say the route is being changed to avoid the art gallery altogether, and the Christmas Square will be moved to another location.

The parade and Christmas Square, sponsored by Rogers and Coast Capital Savings, are one of the largest food and fundraising events for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, collecting $96,000 and more than 28,000 kilograms of food since 2004.

Vancouver city council debated a motion to remove the Occupy camp Tuesday night, but decided to leave the protest in place for now.



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