Yass is set to get festive this December as the Christmas Parade and Markets enter early planning stages, barring another lockdown.

Organiser Barry O’Mara said the committee hope to do a bit of forward planning this year and have already coordinated with Yass Valley Council to close Comur Street.

“The plan at this stage is to have a more involved street parade,” he said. “We’re trying to involve more of the community, community groups and sporting groups.”

“We also hope to have local and people from out of the Shire come in and do a market day.”

The Christmas Parade and Markets will be on Thursday 16 December alongside late-night shopping, which will also be available on 23 December.

The Council are approaching local businesses to see if they want to extend out the front of their stores to make the footpath a part of the festivities. But it’s only early stages yet Barry said as they wait to hear back from businesses involved.

 

“It’s pretty much in the early planning simply because of the COVID situation,” he said. “A lot of it comes down to social distancing and how many people you can have in an outside space.”

However, there’s no time to waste when planning a large event like this. Barry explained that the committee has to do a bit of footwork early on and have steps in place ready to go so that if restrictions allow, everything is prepared.

He also plans to make the event more community orientated like it has been in the past when the Council would close the area between the traffic lights and fire brigade for arcade games.

“We would look at putting in a jumping castle or something in there providing we can get permission to close that section of the road,” he said. “It’s a little bit of a stumbling block because the firies need access.”

It’s not Christmas without a touch of nostalgia and if they get that area closed, then Barry said they also have plans to bring in the old original merry-go-round and the Lions Club train which was rather iconic in Yass over the last 60 odd years. However, with OHS guidelines it could not be used as an actual ride.

“That’s our plan and everyone’s sort of happy to move forward with that plan,” he said.

Santa is also set to make a reappearance this year and will not have to quarantine thanks to an extra special essential worker exemption.

By Brianna O’Rourke