Although many Christmas traditions have been canceled this year due to the coronavirus, Santa will still be making appearances in town this holiday season. FILE PHOTO THE COAST STAR

MANASQUAN — Christmas festivities in Manasquan may be a little different this year due to the pandemic, but children can still look forward to visits from Santa to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

In lieu of the traditional Candy Cane Hunt the Manasquan Chamber of Commerce has planned a Holiday Hunt that will begin after Thanksgiving.

The hunt will last about three and a half weeks from the end of November until mid-December rather than a one-night-only event like the Candy Cane Hunt, according to Manasquan Chamber of Commerce President John Newman.

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Mr. Newman added that the Holiday Hunt was designed to take place over the course of three and a half weeks to prevent the typical crowd of 3,000 to 5,000 people that usually gather on the night of the Candy Cane Hunt.

Children who sign up for the event [space may be limited] will be given a passport to use during the hunt. Participating businesses, which will place a photo cut-out of Santa in their stores, will sign the passports when children find the photo of Santa.

Then, children will be assigned a night — Dec. 17, 18 or 19 — to hand in their passports and pick up their gifts from Santa in Squan Plaza. In order to maintain social distancing and prevent overcrowding, children and parents will remain in their cars while Santa makes his deliveries.

“I think this Holiday Hunt will be fun. The fact that kids will get a gift from Santa I think will be a fun experience for them, even if it’s a drive-by and Santa puts it in the back of your car,” Mr. Newman said.

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