Christmas celebrations will take a new form at Tailem Bend in 2020

The parade has been cancelled, but Father Christmas will still make an appearance to local children, among other plans.

The parade has been cancelled, but there will be still be plenty of Christmas spirit around Tailem Bend over the next eight weeks.

Volunteers made the difficult call to cancel the Tailem Bend Christmas Parade on October 19 due to the difficulty they would have complying with COVID-19 regulations.

Something like 200 marshals would have been required to police the rules and Railway Terrace would have to have been fenced off, according to parade committee member Maxine Kiddie, pictured at left – not a realistic proposition.

“It was extremely difficult (to make the decision),” she said.

“The Christmas parade is iconic in Tailem – it brings kids together, families together, and people come from all around to come to it.”

But the Christmas party is not over yet.

Instead, volunteers are organising a live appearance by Father Christmas via video link on November 20.

A previously announced competition for hay bale sculptures, posed Christmas characters and light displays will also go ahead, with judging to take place from November 28 and cash cards available to the best in each category.

Tickets in a $2 raffle with “amazing” prizes, available from Tailem Bend Post Office or parade committee members, will raise funds for a bigger, better parade in 2021.

Children will be able to send letters or drawings to the man in red via post boxes the committee plans to set up at Tailem Bend Primary and other schools around the Coorong district.

That is not all, either – rumours abound of elf sightings, the distant sound of carols and more festive fun which may yet be had in the town between now and December 25.

The exact details remain a closely guarded Christmas secret.

“We did some brainstorming and looked outside the square, and we’ve been able to come up with quite a few different ideas,” committee member Wendy Batson, pictured at right, said.

In the meantime, she passed on Father Christmas’ apologies for being unable to make it to the parade this year.

“He’s going to keep himself safe so he can come on Christmas Eve,” Ms Batson said.

Photo of Maxine Kiddie and Wendy Batson: Peri Strathearn.

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