For the past 20 years, residents in the city of Whitehorse in Canada's Yukon territory have been treated to a slightly unusual holiday event: a city employee has spruced up a vintage garbage truck with Christmas lights, donned Santa Claus garb and driven around town.
But recently, concerns about public safety put the tradition in jeopardy, and community reaction was swift and strong.
The Whitehorse Daily Star reports that this month the tradition will continue, but with some modifications: Garbage truck Santa will be equipped with a new ride and accompanied by a sidekick elf.
Citing safety issues, the Whitehorse Council voted to provide Santa with an elf and a retrofitted, one-ton truck, forgoing another proposal to have Santa drive a garbage truck similar to the old one.
Council member Kirk Cameron said “If all that works out well, we'll have a truck driving around with Santa, with a qualified elf driving the vehicle, which increases the safety factor,” he said. “That was a principle that I know a lot of people had issues and concerns with, so this looks like it's a really good compromise.”
Garbage truck Santa will be spreading holiday cheer in Whitehorse from Dec. 18 to 20.