SUDBURY -- Organizers of Greater Sudbury's annual Santa Claus Parade have announced this year's event is cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a news release Thursday, the city said restrictions on social gatherings means the parade can't go ahead.

"The decision is based on provincial orders restricting social gatherings and ongoing provincial and local efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19," the city said.

The event is put on by the Greater Sudbury Santa Claus Parade Committee, which includes volunteers, members of the Downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Area and city staff. The parade had been scheduled for Nov. 21.

"The committee understands this may be disappointing news for residents," the release said. "It was a difficult decision, but necessary to keep our community safe. All partners remain committed to this long-standing community celebration and look forward to its continuation in the future."