Events fall to covid

The Originals motorbike club, from front to back, club president Gerald McKenzie, Robert, Ross Skinner, Geoff Roulston, Humpty and Willie Little.

The Hyundai Mid Canterbury Santa Parade and the Ashburton Motorcycle Show are among some of the latest community events cancelled due to higher health risks posed by the Delta variant of covid.

They join a long line of events, functions and ceremonies to be cancelled by organisers due to covid-safety restrictions.

Santa parade organiser Carol Johns said the parade’s cancellation, made just this week, was due to the rules around running an event, “especially one as big as the parade”.

Carol Johns, left, and Sheena Clark РSanta’s little human helpers Рwere only recently sorting parade costumes in the hopes the parade could go ahead.

The parade was due to take a new route from Mona Square, along Cass Street towards Wills Street. Then loop around Victoria Street (in front of the Devon) and return along Cass Street.

“At this stage limits of 100 people are allowed in one area so even over the length of the parade it wouldn’t be enough,” she said.

Then came the issues on how it was managed with a covid green traffic light system only people with covid vaccination passports could attend, which was another hurdle, she said.

“I have only just cancelled because I didn’t want to admit defeat,” she said.

The Ashburton Motorcycle Show, hosted by the Originals bike club, and drawing hundreds of visitors to the district, was due to run this weekend.

Originals bike club president Gerald McKenzie said “a while ago the country was doing well and we were optimistic, but now there is higher risk and it would be difficult to run this event in the manner we have enjoyed in the past,” he said.

“It is sad we couldn’t hold the bike show this year because it was cancelled last year as well.”

The club hoped to hold the show in March next year.

The event, which draws in people from around the country, had plenty of chrome lined up for two wheel enthusiasts, as well as a tattoo show, live music, trade stalls and food vendors.

Mr McKenzie said many hours had been committed in preparations for the show during the past seven months and he was grateful for community support.

Covid restrictions had also affected the running of the Mid Town Mardi Gras run by Mrs Johns that was due to take place on Tancred Street, in downtown Ashburton.

Unable to reach an agreement on guidelines with Ashburton District Council, Mrs Johns has opted to take the event back to the Tinwald Recreational Centre (home of Tinwald rugby and cycling clubs on Maronan Road) on December 4.

It will be a Christmas Festival Market Day and Father Christmas and his sleigh will make an appearance for photos with kids, and there will be the kiddie train and facepainting.

“I have invited the participants that usually go in the parade to join us at the market to entertain – bring a float,” she said.