27 Aug 2021

Festive spirit set to return to South Australia for 2021 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant

Christmas cheer and joy is returning to South Australia this year with the state’s 89th National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant confirmed.

The Southern Hemisphere’s largest public parade will take place on Saturday, November 13 at Adelaide Oval and will officially mark the beginning of the festive season. Events South Australia, SA Health and SA Police confirmed the event in a press conference this morning at the Adelaide Riverbank Footbridge, giving locals a taste of the festive cheer to come. 

Accompanied by an array of fantasy, four newly designed floats, including last year’s winning SALA competition entry and this year’s Mini Float winner, colourful characters, the Royal Family, bands, dancers and more, Father Christmas will officially declare that it’s Christmas time.

“It’s an honour and a pleasure to be able to announce that this treasured event is able to proceed, despite the ongoing challenges presented by COVID conditions across Australia,” said South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall MP.

“We are thrilled to be bringing the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant to the people of South Australia again, continuing the beloved community tradition for people of all ages across the state,” added Mr Marshall.

National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant Director, Brian Gilbertson, is excited to bring the Pageant back in this capacity in 2021.

“The pageant team and all involved have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure we can bring the pageant to life again this year, and we’re proud to announce alongside the SA Government, SA Health and SAPOL that the show will go on in the safest possible way. ”

“The safety of South Australians is a priority and the Events South Australia team will continue to work closely with SA Health and SAPOL to ensure we have an approved COVID Management Plan and deliver a safe National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant.”

“While we understand how much our beloved fellow South Australians are eager to see the pageant return to the streets, we’re thrilled to be able to still deliver a magical experience in the more controlled environment of Adelaide Oval and through a spectacular live broadcast to watch from the comfort of their homes,” said Mr Gilbertson.

“Last year’s broadcast on the Nine Network had record viewership numbers, with pageant lovers watching across the country. The ratings are an overwhelming reflection of just how loved the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is.”

Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, said the team at SA Health is working closely with pageant organisers. 

“Everyone did a great job at last year’s Christmas pageant celebrating in a COVID safe way, with hand hygiene and physical distancing,” Professor Spurrier said.

“My team and I understand the importance of this Christmas pageant for young children and their families and are working to ensure it will be able to go ahead while keeping all South Australians safe.  

“As we did last year, SA Health will continue to work with the organisers to develop a plan for the festivities that includes risk mitigation strategies such as masks and QR check-ins.”

With additional Pageant details to be revealed in the coming weeks, Vito Borrello, National Pharmacies Chief Executive Officer, is excited to continue the tradition of the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant again in 2021. 

“We’ve been working very closely with the dedicated team behind the scenes, and to be able to announce it is full steam ahead is a testament to all involved. We are thrilled to once again share the magic of the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant with the community this year,” said Mr Borrello. 

“Our nearly 500 National Pharmacies staff and members involved in this year’s spectacular event are extremely excited by the opportunity to deliver Father Christmas, the Royal Family, and the joy of pageant day for all South Australian families, children and the wider community to enjoy.”

The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant will remain a free event, with ticketing allocation conducted via a ballot system through Ticketek.

More information on ticketing and the full pageant schedule will be revealed in the coming weeks. To be the first to hear all updates, subscribe to our newsletter here or follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant updates.

With a different Pageant comes many questions!

We've gathered as much information as possible to help answer your questions:

South Australians have done a fantastic job in maintaining social distancing and protocol within the State which has largely kept the community safe from COVID-19.

Despite this, we are still living within a pandemic. The three key considerations in delivering safe events are distancing, density and contact tracing. The traditional Pageant format, which sees up to 300,000 spectators line the streets of Adelaide, was simply not possible given the ongoing risks associated with COVID-19.  

It will be a twilight event, with the start-time still to be confirmed.

Although we will have our beloved floats, walking sets, bands and dance groups, this will be a Pageant of a different kind given the variables in space, setting and timing.

We are excited to be delivering this, but do not intend to reveal all at this time – we want people to come along or watch with our exclusive broadcast partner on Nine and 9Now.

Most South Australians will be watching the Pageant from the comfort of their own homes this year – it will be broadcast exclusively with our broadcast partner, Channel Nine, on Nine and 9Now.  In 2020 we were given approval for 25,000 people to attend. We’re hopeful we will achieve this number as a minimum and will do all we can to get as many people into Adelaide Oval as we can, whilst delivering a COVID-Safe event.

For the 2020 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant we had an approved COVID Management Plan for up to 25,000 people. We’re hopeful we will achieve this number as a minimum and will do all we can to get as many people into Adelaide Oval as we can, whilst delivering a COVID-Safe event. The number of seats available will be confirmed when we put the tickets online, however it will be subject to change (up or down) based on health and police directives at the time.

We are confident that the Pageant team in conjunction with the team at the Adelaide Oval will deliver a safe event for all those present. We look forward to hosting South Australian families at Adelaide Oval on Pageant Day.

Beyond the live crowd at the Oval, we are thankful that we have such a great broadcast partner in Channel Nine, and families will be able to enjoy the Pageant from their lounge rooms this year. As we did last year, in our planning we will certainly be thinking about the thousands of people at home.

We are working with Ticketek for ballot-issued allocations, and we will be releasing further details as we move closer to the event. We will share more information about ticketing in the near future. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or subscribe to our newsletter so you don't miss out on ticketing updates.

The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is a cherished community event that we are proud to offer at no charge to South Australians.

There will be no cost for tickets to attend, and as event plans progress, ticketing ballot details will be released.

Ticketek, as the contracted ticketing partner for all Adelaide Oval events, is currently developing a ballot system to fairly allocate tickets for spectators at the Adelaide Oval on November 13. We are hoping to release further ticketing details in in the near future.

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or subscribe to our newsletter so you don't miss out on ticketing updates.

The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant will be broadcast exclusively in South Australia on Nine and 9Now. Exact details will be shared closer to the event.

Channel 9 is currently working on the broadcast schedule for the 2021 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant. We anticipate broadcast timings will be released in coming weeks.

The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant will be broadcast exclusively in South Australia on Nine and 9Now.

We are encouraging everyone to enjoy and celebrate the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant at home with loved ones.  This will be a day to start some new traditions, such as setting up your Christmas tree, creating your own blue honor lines, recognizing our first responders, or enjoying your own mini-Christmas feast for the afternoon.

We are also working behind the scenes to deliver an incredible social media program where we will encourage  as many people as possible to engage with each other and share and celebrate our Pageant Day.

We can appreciate that families with young children may find the event broadcast falls outside their usual family schedule.

The Pageant can be viewed from the comfort of your home exclusively on Nine and, viewed anytime on demand on 9Now, for those looking for more flexibility. There will also be a special replay on Nine on Christmas Day.

We have been incredibly fortunate that our major sponsor, National Pharmacies, has been a great support to the Pageant team during this year’s planning process. We would also like to acknowledge and thank the support of the South Australian Government of course, along with our event partners including Channel Nine, SAPOL, SA Health, Adelaide Oval and all who have helped us continue the tradition of delivering Father Christmas to the people of South Australia.



See the magic from last year's National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant:


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