Photos with Santa are underway at Evansville's Eastland Mall, and while kids will find Jolly Old Saint Nicholas in his usual red suit and hat, he's also wearing a face shield.
"We wanted to bring an experience that has been a tradition for many years here at the mall," Eastland Mall Marketing Coordinator Sean Ferguson explained. "We wanted our families to be safe, we wanted Santa to be safe, and we wanted the photo staff to be safe."
With COVID-19 still sticking around for the holiday season, photos with Santa in Evansville look a little bit different this Christmas.
Families must make online reservations ahead of time in order to see Santa, and everyone 8-years-old and above must wear face coverings at all times. Perhaps the biggest change of all: kids won't be sitting on Santa's lap.
"Kids are not going to be sitting on Santa's lap," Ferguson said. "But they can come up, they can talk to him, they'll sit down on a bench that's in front of him about six to eight feet away from him."
While this year's photos with Santa isn't the typical encounter, Ferguson said the event has still created a unique experience for kids and families alike.
"Some of the pictures that we've been getting have been really really neat," explained Ferguson. "Some great shots, some unique shots - and again, we're all about creating that experience. So this year, we're creating a very unique experience just because of what's going on in the world."
Santa will be at the Eastland Mall through Thursday, Dec. 24.
To make a reservation for photos with Santa at Eastland Mall, you can click here.