COVID-19 will not put a halt to the return of the Cummins Christmas Wonderland in 2020, now in a different venue and with restrictions in place.
The Cummins Christmas Wonderland Committee are at work putting together this year's Christmas Wonderland, which will take place in the Cummins Institute from December 1 to 28 between 10am and 5pm and on Christmas Day from 2pm until 5pm.
Committee chairperson Grace Coombs said the move from the Cummins RSL to the institute had been planned even before the COVID-19 pandemic, although the team is getting used to the wonderland's new surroundings.
"We felt people were having issues with the site, and we sent out a survey and found people were fearful of the traffic increase with the railway closure, also the actual venue was getting pretty crowded," she said.
"We're going to take this month to get started (setting up) now because we knew there would be issues with the space we're trying to adapt as it's a biggest space than we're used to and a different atmosphere."
Due to COVID-19 the committee has set up online booking for the Christmas Wonderland on the Explore Cummins website.
People need to click on the 'Ho Ho Ho' tab at the top of the page and then on the calendar select the day, time and how many people in a group was attending.
Mrs Coombs said people needed to book the day before they wished to attend.
Due to restrictions children will not be able to write Santa Letters at the wonderland this year and the committee encouraged children to write their letters at home and bring them, and include a name and email to receive a digital response from Father Christmas.
Children were also encouraged to dress up at home and come in their Christmas attire.
Father Christmas will be back in the wonderland between December 12 and 24 from 10am until 12 noon, but will be social distancing himself so children will not be able to sit on his lap this year.
Mrs Coombs said admission was a gold coin donation, which the committee really appreciated as it was the the only real income to go towards the wonderland.
Committee member Wendy Holman said it was great to be able to put on the annual Christmas event during a time when many events were not taking place.
"We're very very excited because of that fact, we need to celebrate Christmas after such a difficult 2020 year," she said.
"We're all Christmas orientated, we get excited about Christmas.
"We're so well supported by the community so it's good to give a celebration back to them."
The committee has thanked the many local businesses and the wider community for their generous support as well as the volunteers who are helping out with the venue, and invite others wanting to help out to come forward.
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