Ho, ho...go! Santa sleigh run going ahead with rule of six

Great Yarmouth Lions' Club sleigh

Santa will make his traditional rounds in his sleigh in 2020 with his Christmas bubble of four helpers and social distancing in place following Tier 2 restrictions. Routes have been revised and the Yarmouth sleigh will not be stopping. - Credit: Great Yarmouth Lions Club

With Tier 2 restrictions in place, Santa and his bubble of elves will spread festive cheer while following the rule of six.

The Norfolk Broads Lions Club and Great Yarmouth Lions Club have both confirmed they will be dusting off their sleighs and delighting families on their doorsteps.

The two clubs, which cover separate areas of the borough, have both adopted different approaches and accept takings will likely be down.

Stephen Pyzer, president of the Broads club which covers the northern villages including Caister, Ormesby, Martham, Hemsby, and Winterton, said the normal practice of alerting people by knocking on doors would be abandoned, adding that Santa had taken to Facebook for the first time instead.

The Norfolk Broads Lions Club sleigh

The Norfolk Broads Club sleigh has had a makeover for the 2020 season and is ready to take to the road on Friday, December 4. However, even Santa has to follow Covid-safe guidelines and things will be a little different this year. - Credit: Norfolk Broads Lions Club

People wanting to know about a particular route can click to say they are "interested" and receive updates by social media.

Before the new Tier placings were announced  there was a question mark over whether the annual sleigh tours - the Lions' most famous fundraising event - would go ahead.

But with some tweaks and changes they will be taking to the road, albeit later than usual.

It means online donation pages have been set up with the Yarmouth club doing away with bucket shaking altogether.

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To make it Covid-safe Santa will be accompanied by his driver with four helpers walking a safe distance apart wearing masks.

Mr Pyzer said "just a wave" was in order this year and that it was more about spreading festive cheer than asking for money.

The Broads tour usually raises up to £6,000 for local good causes.

The charity sleigh run will visit the following locations and hopes to catch up with Winterton and Hemsby, which would have seen Santa last week.

Visits are from 6-8pm.

Friday December 4 - Martham

Saturday 5 - Caister Tesco

Sunday 6 - Martham

Tuesday 8 - Ormesby

Wednesday 9 - Ormesby

Friday 11 - Caister

Saturday 12 - Caister Old Hall

Sunday 13 - Caister

Tuesday 15 - Caister

Wednesday 16 - Caister

Friday 18 - Caister

Saturday 19 - Caister

Sunday 20 - Caister

Great Yarmouth Lions Club have also said they are able to stage a reduced number of sleigh runs.

All the dates start at 6:30pm .

Schedule is as follows:

Monday December 7 – Barrack Estate/Deneside/Middlegate – 3 miles

Wednesday 9 – Belton Circular Tour– 2 miles

Friday 11 – Cobholm/Southtown – 2.5 miles

Monday 14 – Hopton – 3.5 miles

Wednesday 16 – Gorleston – 3.6 miles

Friday 18– Northgate/Newtown – 3.5 miles

Monday 21 – Magdalen Estate East – 3 miles

23rd – Bradwell/Shrublands – 4.8 miles

The sleigh will not be stopping anywhere and no cash collections will be made en-route.

There will be an opportunity to make online donations via the Great Yarmouth Lions Club Facebook Page or direct to their JustGiving platform.

Hemsby independent lifeboat service has announced it will not be hosting Father Christmas on his boat tour of the village this year due to the pandemic, but still welcomes donations,  and bids for its beer hamper auction on Facebook.