Merry Chistm.. oh.
Welp, the pandemic took care of most of our best-laid summer plans, and today comes the first sign that it’s coming for our winter fun, too. Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park’s annual Christmas extravaganza, has confirmed that it won’t take place in 2020, citing valid concerns about running a large-scale, well-attended event in the midst of a global health crisis.
In a statement, organisers said that “it is with a heavy heart we share that Hyde Park Winter Wonderland will not be taking place this year.” They noted that, despite the tireless efforts of the team, “in light of ongoing health concerns, travel restrictions and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and considering the size and scale of this event, we just couldn’t find a way to do that without compromising the magical attractions, shows, rides, bars and experiences that make Hyde Park Winter Wonderland so special.”
This is, undoubtedly, a massive blow to the magic of a London Christmas, and one suspects it won’t be the last event to disappear because of the pandemic (for instance, can you really see London’s packed NYE fireworks display going ahead as usual?). Winter Wonderland’s array of sickly sweet food stalls, amusement rides, giant outdoor ice rink, art and craft stalls, and plentiful bars are usually rammed come late November and early December, so all that festive cheer is going to have to be directed somewhere.
With young upstart rival Winterville falling by the wayside in 2019, it leaves London without a giant Christmas village for 2020. Which certainly means we’re going to have to start planning the greatest Christmas of all time in 2021, doesn’t it?
Also published on Medium.