Santa Spectacular cancelled at St Albans’ Willows Farm

The Santa Spectacular at Willows Activity Farm.

The Santa Spectacular at Willows Activity Farm. - Credit: Archant

Santa’s schedule has been thrown into disarray by the second lockdown, with one of his grottos cancelled as a result.

Father Christmas will no longer be appearing as part of the Santa Spectacular at Willows Activity Farm this November and December.

Chief executive Lyssa Elster explained: “This has been an incredibly tough decision and one that has been made with a heavy heart, but it is one we’ve had to make to ensure everyone’s safety and the long term survival of the business.

“The cost of setting up the Santa Spectacular experience is very expensive, and when faced with only being able to run the Santa experience for fewer dates after being closed in November and at lower capacity, the event becomes commercially unviable.

“In addition, there is no guarantee that we will come out of lockdown on December 2 or that if we do, we will be able to offer any indoor or under cover areas. The risk then becomes even greater, particularly after over three months of lockdown with no income and working at limited capacities and so limited income since re-opening.

“We have also had to consider our staff as normally we would complete the setup of the event in the first three weeks of November, but as we will be in lockdown, the work is not considered ‘essential’ and in protecting our staff it would not be appropriate to ask them to travel to do this work.

“These are the most challenging set of circumstances we have faced, and while Santa won’t be visiting Willows this year we’re confident he will be back next year with even more festive cheer. I know that we will all get through this and we’re looking at making 2021 even more special for our visitors and members.”