Even during the COVID-19 crisis, a year without the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant would be “unthinkable,” says one stakeholder
For 88 years the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant has welcomed Father Christmas to South Australia.
In a historical first, one of South Australia’s most treasured events will host a twilight parade at Adelaide Oval, to a COVID-safe crowd and broadcast exclusively in South Australia on Nine and 9Now.
The challenges of COVID-19 have changed the parade location and design for the safety and wellbeing of the South Australian community.
“The last time we had a change of this significance to the Pageant was during the Second World War when it was cancelled for four years,” says Pageant Director, Brian Gilbertson.
“In 2020, COVID-19 has seen us adjust our traditional Pageant format and route, but with the support of National Pharmacies we are beyond excited to deliver this magical event to the magnificent Adelaide Oval and create new history for our Pageant story.”
With the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant traditionally signifying the start of the festive season, Premier Steven Marshall shares the excitement in bringing the popular event once again to South Australian families.
“We’re grateful for the efforts of South Australians in the fight against the global Coronavirus pandemic – which has put our state in a world-leading position,” said Premier Steven Marshall.
“This year’s Pageant – which is such a wonderful Christmas tradition for the state—will be even more special for families – after what has been a really tough year for everyone.”
This year, most South Australians will celebrate the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant with their families, says the pharmacy group. The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is hoped to bring the community together online with activities, stories and interaction across social media platforms and through the live broadcast on Channel Nine.
“The tradition of the Pageant will continue in 2020, and although it might look a little different this year, what it means to our community remains the same,” says Vito Borrello, Chief Executive Officer, National Pharmacies.
“Christmas never felt so Christmas as families begin to share their Christmas experiences and traditions with each other. This might be putting up your Christmas tree, creating a blue honour line in your home, covering your driveway in chalk drawings or making Christmas treats with your family.”
The Pageant at Adelaide Oval will be reminiscent of an opening ceremony with all the beloved floats, Pageant characters, dancers and bands making an appearance for the spectacle, the group says. This year, there will also be a special acknowledgement of front-line workers, first responders and recognition of the South Australians who faced off our bushfires earlier in the year.
For the first time in its history, the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant will broadcast the twilight event live on Channel Nine.
“Broadcasting the Pageant from Adelaide Oval for the first time is exciting and a privilege for us to be a part of,” said Sean O’Brien, Managing Director of Nine South Australia.
“Made locally and hosted by Brenton Ragless and Kate Collins, we can’t wait to share it with South Australian audiences, exclusively on Nine and 9Now.”
As South Australians welcome the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant at home, family and community spirit will embrace the arrival of Father Christmas with new traditions and celebrations, that will mark the start of our festive season.
“Just like Adelaide Oval, the Christmas Pageant is part of South Australia’s DNA. It’s a hugely important part of our history,” says Andrew Daniels CEO, Adelaide Oval.
“A year without the Pageant, with the joy it brings to young and old alike across the State, would be unthinkable. Therefore, in what has been such a challenging year for all of us, we are delighted to be able to make such an important event possible.
“We can’t wait to be part of the magic.”
As the planning for the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant progresses, updates will be shared with the community.
“The legacy of the Pageant hasn’t changed. It is about celebrating the joy of family, of community and welcoming Father Christmas to Adelaide,” says Mr Gilbertson.