Ho ho uh-oh: Famed Auckland Christmas parade axed

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 Oct 2021, 4:13PM
Onlookers and participants brave the weather waiting for the start of the annual Farmers Santa Parade in Auckland last year. (Photo / Sylvie Whinray)
Onlookers and participants brave the weather waiting for the start of the annual Farmers Santa Parade in Auckland last year. (Photo / Sylvie Whinray)

Ho ho uh-oh: Famed Auckland Christmas parade axed

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 Oct 2021, 4:13PM

Managed isolation woes appear to be striking not just the regular Joe, but even the big man himself - Santa.

Auckland's much-loved Farmers Santa Parade has been cancelled due to the heavy Covid-19 restrictions - and MIQ lottery - which means he won't make it into New Zealand in time to head the sleigh.

Santa Parade chair and CEO of the Auckland Business Chamber, Michael Barnett, apologised on behalf of Santa but assured the public he would make it in time for Christmas.

"Santa Claus will be stuck in MIQ until December 24 and with great disappointment has told his elves and fairies that the much-loved Farmers Santa Parade will not be able to go ahead for the first time in decades.

"Santa is so sorry, but he too has to follow Covid restrictions."

Despite being an essential worker, Santa's busy schedule, and delays in shipping, meant he faced little option but to cancel the parade.

Michael Barnett, chair of the Farmers Santa Parade, says MIQ issues have meant Santa won't be back in time for the Christmas parade.

Michael Barnett, chair of the Farmers Santa Parade, says MIQ issues have meant Santa won't be back in time for the Christmas parade.

"His busy schedule getting everything ready for his deliveries on Christmas Eve and delays in shipping meant he couldn't book his slot in quarantine earlier even as an essential worker.

"But kids, do not worry. He will be here on time on Christmas Eve and making his way to your place.

"And while we will miss the parade, remember nothing can spoil Christmas and the spirit of goodwill."

Barnett said Santa's helpers from sponsors to participants all share the disappointment of the parade becoming a victim of the virus, but it will be back bigger, better and Covid-free in 2022.