By Claire Ottaviano
IT will surely be a silent night in Darlington this Christmas Eve with the annual Carols by Candlelight cancelled for 2020.
Both the Darlington, on December 24, and Swan View, on December 23, carols by Candlelight will not run because the committee does not have the funding or personnel required to comply with new COVID-19 contact tracing guidelines.
As of December 5, particular businesses are required to maintain contact registers for WA Health Department mandated COVID-19 contact tracing.
While contact registration is encouraged but not mandatory for other businesses and gatherings, event coordinator Pauline Clark said with larger than usual crowds expected, it was not feasible to run the event.
“Events like these now require contact tracing for all attendees, this means we would need a fence around the carols area which would cost $20,000 for such a large area,” she said.
“Without it we can’t contact trace.
“We would also need a COVID captain to make sure we’re adhering to requirements, volunteers would need to be stationed at the public toilets and we have to clean the high traffic areas regularly and do COVID training for all volunteers.”
Despite the expected disappointment from attendees, Ms Clark said organisers were supportive of the State Government regulations.
“We have to respect that this is a terrible virus,” she said.
“This is us doing our bit, this is the whole community doing its bit.
“Every life matters, old life matters, your life, my life, we all matter and just because WA has had it good doesn’t mean we can compromise our commitment to our safety.”
Earnshaw Real Estate client services manager Kendall Earnshaw said their $2000 event sponsorship would be redirected to the annual Darlington Pavilion Music Gig held in January but they would be back to continue their sponsorship of the carols next year.
While the Glen Forrest Carols by Candlelight and the Ellenbrook Lions Club carols have also cancelled, there are other carols around the eastern region which will still go ahead.
Midland Community Carols is hosting its annual event in Weeip Park, Midland Oval, on December 20.
The Stirk Park Carols in Kalamunda will also continue this Sunday from 6pm.