Thu, Nov 18, 2021 1:55 PM

Santa (still) coming to town

The float will drive around individual neighbourhoods this year. Photo: Jo Kent.

Jo Kent

Despite the Richmond Santa Parade being cancelled for the first time ever due to Level 2 restrictions, Santa will still be coming to town.

This year, things will look a lot different due to crowd number control.

Events coordinator for Richmond Unlimited Sheena Murtagh says that scrapping the parade with just two weeks to go was a hard decision to make.

“We were just a fortnight away and people were starting to put more time and effort into their floats, so we had to make the call sooner rather than later.”

But she says the group is committed to bringing Santa to Richmond and thanks to sponsors Pak N Save, NBS and Richmond Mall, that will still happen.

“This year Santa’s float will drive along a designated route around individual neighbourhoods rather than just down Queen Street, which means we comply with Covid-19 restrictions.”

The plan is that the festive float will be followed by a pack of elves who will be handing out treats on their way past, with a choir of carol singers bringing up the rear.

“If you live on the route, invite your friends and family over for a garden picnic or BBQ and watch the procession. We can do this safely and kids will still get to receive lollies from Santa’s little helpers and feel that community spirit.”

She says that as Carols in the Park at Washbourn Gardens is also cancelled, the idea was hatched to combine the two events.

“We thought why not get the carol singers walking behind the Santa float and make it feel even more special for people who have been looking forward to attending both events.”

Centre manager for Richmond Mall, Belinda de Clercq says there will also be a Find the Reindeer event at the shopping centre for children from 1 to 19 December.

“You can pick up a form at the mall, go looking for the reindeer and then enter a draw to win one of three $50 vouchers. We really want kids to have something to look forward to.”

The neighbourhood procession will take place on Sunday 19 December from 4-6pm and a map of the route is available online.

“We’re happy to be able to make this happen and hope that by doing this, everyone gets a sprinkling of Christmas magic,” Sheena says.