There is major disappointment for scores of children and their families after a Christmas wonderland in a historic setting has been cancelled due to the escalating Covid situation.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham Dublin announced the cancellation of its winter experience due to concerns over rising Covid-19 case numbers.
The festival showcase was due to run from November 26 until Christmas week and promised live entertainment, food trucks, a festive train, an Irish designers market, art installations and a Santa’s grotto with Santa Claus himself.
Organisers have said they took the decision with heavy hearts, but ultimately the current high levels of Coronavirus circulating in the community made it impossible for event to proceed this year.
In a statement released regarding the cancellation, festival organisers said: “It is with great regret that the decision has been made to cancel this year’s Santa experience at IMMA. The family event and Santa experience was due to take place in the gardens of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham from 26th November to 23rd December.
“With rising cases of Covid 19, the safety of our staff and attendees is paramount. Unfortunately, the uncertainty around the current situation has led us to make the difficult decision to cancel this event for 2021. All tickets purchased will be automatically refunded via Eventbrite.”
“We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in producing this experience to date and we look forward to welcoming Santa and audiences to our Winter Wonderland at the RHK next year,” the statement continued.
It comes as another major festive event in Dublin has also been cancelled in recent days due to Covid-19 concerns.
The Mistletown Christmas market was due to take place in the fruit and vegetable market near Mary Street, from December 4.
Earlier this month a well-established pantomime troupe in Waterford were one of the first in the country to cancel their Christmas showcase.
Dungarvan Town Pantomime in west Waterford became the first festive event in the region to be called off because of the recent spiral in Covid-19 case numbers.
In a statement, the panto organisers said they had hoped to proceed with the 2021 Christmas event but were forced into a re-think in light of the latest surge in virus case numbers.
"We were very optimistic last May when we had booked our panto dates for this December," the organisers explained in a statement posted on social media,” they said.
"Unfortunately we made the decision after the last announcement to cancel this year's panto in December due to rising (Covid-19) case numbers.
"We simply do not think it would be safe for our cast and audiences under the current circumstances. We will definitely see you for Panto 2022 and we cannot wait for it.”