Northern Beaches Council has confirmed the cancellation of holiday season events.
Christmas Carols and New Year’s Eve fireworks events have been cancelled on the advice of NSW Health for public gatherings.
Although the events were widely understood to be under a cloud due to the COVID-19 pandemic, council held off formal cancellation in the hope circumstances might change to allow some events to proceed, in some form.
Community groups who assist council hosting events were under pressure to confirm bookings, requiring a decision to be made now.
The Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches which has helped run Christmas Carols at Village Park, Mona Vale for many years says they are disappointed but understand the decision.
“We are sorry the decision has to be made but safety comes first. We’ll definitely be planning to hold the event next year. We know the community looks forward to the event,” said Club President Rob Haines.
The cancelled events are:
- Christmas Choral Concert, Manly
- Christmas by the Beach, Dee Why
- Carols by the Lake, Narrabeen (organised by Link Church) reimagined interactive online event Saturday, 19 December
- Mona Vale Carols (organised by Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches)
- Frenchs Forest Carols by Candlelight (organised by Frenchs Forest Lions Club)
- Avalon Carols (organised by Avalon SLSC)
- Manly (in conjunction with Manly Wharf Hotel)
- Dee Why
- Bayview (in conjunction with The Newport)
“The community’s health and safety is paramount and we could not guarantee large crowds could gather safely with the continued threat of possible COVID-19 infections,” said Mayor Michael Regan.
Acting Commander of Northern Beaches Police Area Command, Jill Walters, supports Council’s decision to cancel the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
“The health and safety of the general public is paramount and unfortunately due to COVID-19 the impact of the crowds due to the fireworks may have the potential to place people at risk,” she said.
Council says it will fund smaller activities in town centres and outdoor spaces such as public and street art, localised performances and carollers, lighting displays and Christmas decorations.
“Obviously, this will be disappointing for many people which is why we have decided to reallocate the funds to provide localised entertainment, lights and street art to give our whole area a real festive buzz through the holiday period,” said Mayor Regan.
“This approach has the added benefit of supporting some local artists and musicians and we encourage locals to submit an EOI if they’d like to be a part of it.”
Musicians, performers and choirs from the Northern Beaches are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to be a part of the entertainment initiative.
Mayor Regan said he looked forward to the return of larger community events when it was safe.