You better not shout. You better not cry. Santa Claus is coming to town at the National Pharmacies’ Christmas Pageant this year.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of major South Australian events have been cancelled or postponed.
But the much loved family event will go ahead on November 14 but will look a little different — being hosted at Adelaide Oval.
Premier Steven Marshall shared the news — and Christmas Spirit — on Friday saying the “twilight” event would also be broadcast.
The Christmas Pageant has been running in Adelaide for 88 years. This will be the first time it is held in the evening and in an arena.
Prior to the pandemic, the pageant route moved through the streets of Adelaide’s CBD and concluded on North Terrace where excited onlookers could see the big man in red and white.
“A lot of children, parents and grandparents have been concerned about the cancellation but it’s going to go ahead but in a slightly different format,” Mr Marshall said.
“There will be a ballot system for people to come along. We’ll be releasing details of that in the coming weeks.”
He said while it was unclear what the maximum number would be for the event, there was an agreement with SA Health to allow up to 25,000 people.
That also depended on if the state continued to respond well to the coronavirus.
“SA Health constantly look at all the data and evidence and it’s true that outdoor seated events have a lower risk that those crowded environments indoors.
“This will be broadcast online and I think you’ll find millions of people around the world will see SA — some for the first time — and see people enjoying themselves.
“We’ll be showcasing how well we’ve done with COVID-19 and it will be a way of positioning us on the world stage.”
Pageant Director Brian Gilbertson said the event would still bring families and the community together.
“Audiences will be sitting around here in the oval, waiting pensively for the floats to be coming out on to the ground. We’ll also have dance, carol singing so it will be like a massive theatre show,” he said.
“We will be inviting all of the kids to do things in their driveways, get their chalk out and do all the things they would normally do on a pageant day, and create their own gingerbread houses.
“It’s been a difficult year but we want to end it with celebration as we do every year, with the pageant leading into Christmas.”
National Pharmacies CEO Vito Borrello said it was exciting the tradition would continue.
“While this year’s event will be a little different, what it means to our communities remains the same,” he said.