Stop cancelling Christmas! Festive markets, carol concerts and Santa’s grottos in at least 30 areas of Britain have been mothballed due to Covid… even though there are no pandemic restrictions
- At least 30 areas cancelled Christmas events but real number likely much higher
- Bath pulled its 400,000-strong market while others scrapped lights ceremonies
- The cancellations have been branded ‘cruel’ by the parent group UsForThem
Christmas events across the country have been cancelled because of Covid despite pandemic rules no longer being in place.
Dozens of areas have seen festive markets, Dickensian fairs, Christmas light switch-on celebrations, carol concerts and Santa’s grottos scrapped by ‘over-cautious’ officials.
Daily Mail research has found at least 30 localities where events have been mothballed, but the true number is likely to be much higher.
In some areas, decisions were made months ago not to run any events because of ‘Covid 19 uncertainties’ even though many are outdoors.
Organisers elsewhere have got cold feet just weeks before planned celebrations.
This is despite workplaces, pubs, café, restaurants and shops all running as normal.
Last night the cancellations were criticised by parent group UsForThem.
Paultons Park in Hampshire has closed its Santa’s grotto (pictured), in favour of an appearance in a covered outside area to give children access to Santa ‘in a comfortable fresh air setting’
The Grassington Dickensian Festival in North Yorkshire (pictured in 2019) has been ditched in favour of two ‘safer and more prudent’ markets for locals
In Bath, the Christmas Market (pictured in 2018) – which usually attracts 400,000 visitors and brings millions of pounds to business – has been cancelled
Christmas shoppers browse stalls at the traditional Christmas market in Bath back on November 30, 2017
Nativities get go ahead
Nativity plays are ‘one of our most cherished school traditions’ and ‘can go ahead’ this term, the Department for Education said yesterday.
Its advice comes amid reports that some schools have decided not to allow parents to attend Nativity plays or other Christmas celebrations in person due to concerns about Covid-19. In a blog post, the department says it hopes ‘many more’ festive events will take place this year than last, but that it is up to schools and nurseries to decide what to do.
The blog says: ‘Christmas and Nativity plays are one of our most cherished school traditions. [They] can go ahead.’
It outlines precautions that can be taken. The blog was published after schools minister Robin Walker said he would like to see ‘as many going forward as possible’.
Co-founder Molly Kingsley said: ‘These events are often rites of passage for children and for them to be cancelled two years in a row, and at a time when adults are by and large enjoying a fun and normal run up to the festive period, is no longer simply unfair, it’s cruel.’
In Bath, the Christmas Market – which usually attracts 400,000 visitors and brings millions of pounds to business – has been cancelled.
The council said recruitment issues caused by Covid and Brexit meant it cannot safely manage the market this year.
Nottingham city council said it had turned Christmas lights on without publicising it to stop crowds gathering.
Lights ceremonies were scrapped in Southend, Cambridge, Ely and York.
The Grassington Dickensian Festival in North Yorkshire has been ditched in favour of two ‘safer and more prudent’ markets for locals.
The Lions Club charity carol concert in Fleet has also been called off because of Covid.
Paultons Park in Hampshire has closed its Santa’s grotto, in favour of an appearance in a covered outside area to give children access to Santa ‘in a comfortable fresh air setting’.
Other areas with cancelled or scaled back events include Slough, Faversham in Kent and Ambleside in the Lake District.