Four months before the children’s favorite day, the concern is already palpable: will Santa Claus be able to come and meet toddlers during the pandemic? Luckily, James Lovell, director of a UK event agency, has a plan.
In the middle of August, when most people are enjoying the summer and the beaches, Mr. Lovell is focusing his attention on the cold winter days ahead.
As every year for 25 years, the boss of the company Ministry of Fun, based in London, has already started to prepare his team of 50 Santa Claus.
Last year, the season was exceptional, with a thousand bookings. What will it be this year?
“Normally, in August, most of our reservations are made,” he told AFP. “This year, we have about half of it.”
“People haven’t canceled, but they’re not sure what to do. There have been conflicting messages on what is allowed and what is not, a lot of confusion, “he said, pleading for people” to be reassured that Santa Claus will be able to make his appearance. ”
“No Christmas without Santa Claus”
The sites usually hosting Santa Claus are used to dealing with the crowds that flock to see the famous bearded man dressed in red. But even stricter controls have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
Instead of postponing the children’s hero’s arrival, Lovell said, just making small adjustments to keep the public safe and reassure store owners and parents.
This year, his team of Santa Claus will have specially designed red velvet and white fur masks integrated into the costume. This one can cost up to 1000 pounds (about 1700 $ Canadian) and includes some handmade beards.
The gifts will be placed between Santa Claus and his young visitors to maintain a safe distance, and displayed on a small sled rather than directly distributed.
For Mr Lovell, it is essential that Santa Claus is not yet another victim of the pandemic. “We cannot celebrate Christmas without Father Christmas,” he emphasizes. “We have to make it work. Its very important. For a child, meeting Santa Claus is really a big event. ”
“We all love the idea of Santa Claus bringing us a little bit of magic. And we deserve it more than ever. It has been a horrible year and we need that joy. ”