Due to the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and acting on lead NSW Health advice on outdoor gatherings, Northern Beaches Council has made the tough decision to cancel this year’s Christmas Carol events along with New Year’s Eve fireworks to protect the health and wellbeing of our community and visitors.
Council will instead put the funds towards smaller initiatives in the town centres and outdoor spaces such as public and street art, localised performers and carollers, lighting displays and Christmas decorations.
Mayor Michael Regan said cancelling the popular events, which attract tens of thousands of people, was a very difficult decision but was simply the right thing to do.
“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,” Cr Regan said.
“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.
“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.”
A/Commander of Northern Beaches Police Area Command, Jill Walters, supported Council’s decision to cancel the New Year fireworks this year.
“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.
Cr Regan said major events are subject to the NSW Government’s public health orders, which are continuously amended to address the local impact of the pandemic.
“Due to current health precautions in place, other community groups have also made the hard decision to cancel their Christmas carol events.
“Council supports those decisions as they are simply in the best interest of community safety.
“It would be irresponsible for us to encourage thousands of people to come together, potentially exposing them to infection because enforcing social distancing would be impossible.
“We look forward to the return of events to the community when it is safe to do so,” Cr Regan said.
Bands, musicians, orchestras and choirs from the Northern Beaches are encouraged to submit an EOI to be a part of the entertainment initiative – see Christmas Musicians – Expression of Interest.
1. Christmas Choral Concert, Manly
2. Christmas by the Beach, Dee Why
3. Carols by the Lake, Narrabeen (organised by Link Church) reimagined interactive online event, Saturday, 19 December, link.org.au/carols
4. Mona Vale Carols (organised by Rotary Club Upper Northern Beaches)
5. Frenchs Forest Carols by Candlelight (organised by Frenchs Forest Lions Club)
6. Avalon Carols (organised by Avalon SLSC)
1. Manly, (in conjunction with Manly Wharf Hotel)
2. Dee Why
3. Bayview (in conjunction with The Newport)
Media release provided by Northern Beaches Council, 16th October 2020