The volunteer-based event has been running since the 1950s and in recent years was supported and coordinated by City officers, in conjunction with the Kwinana Rotary Club, who have given up numerous Christmas Days to ensure that it ran smoothly and safely.
City of Kwinana CEO Wayne Jack said that the City has grown substantially in recent decades, requiring more support and coordination of the event. Furthermore, major changes to Health and Safety legislation in recent years now required the City to assess all risks associated with its events.
“Over time, it has become more evident that the Lolly Run could pose a health and safety risk if an accident was to occur, a risk level that has become unacceptable to the City,” Mr Jack said.
“The City has been grappling with this concern for the past few years and have had discussions with a number of agencies in that regard,” he said.
“More recently, the City has been required to review events in light of the COVID19 pandemic and has had to ensure that all facets of the Lolly Run, such as social distancing on vehicles and lolly bag packing, meet current guidelines,”
“As a result of these comprehensive risk assessments, the City presented Council with the option of either cancelling the event permanently without notice or looking to bring it up to 2020 safety standards, whilst maintaining the principles of the event,” Mr Jack said.
Mayor Adams said that the elected members felt very strongly that the Lolly Run should not be cancelled, especially given so many events have been cancelled in 2020 across the world due to COVID19.
“We know just how valued and unique the long-held tradition of the Christmas Lolly Run has been to our community,” Mayor Adams said.
“Seeing smiling children receiving lollies from Santa on Christmas morning has brought generations of Kwinana families so much joy - in fact, over the many years of this tradition, nearly every elected member has themselves been a volunteer, a driver, or Santa Claus on Christmas morning,” she said.
The revised Lolly Run will see the joys of Christmas extended over several days. If you miss seeing Santa in your street on one of the Lolly Run days, then you can find him in a neighbouring suburb on another day leading up to Christmas.
A specially designed truck and experienced driver will escort volunteers through the streets of Kwinana each evening in the lead up to Christmas. Residents are encouraged to get out on their streets, perhaps hold local street parties, and get into the Christmas spirit with neighbours and friends.
“The approach we are taking will bring together the traditional elements of the Lolly Run and give it a modern twist” Mayor Adams said.
“Volunteers will still be a key part of the event, with safety a priority, but most importantly the children of Kwinana will still get to wave to Santa and receive their very own lolly bag right outside their homes in the days leading up to Christmas,” she said.
Detailed suburb maps and other important information about the new and improved event will be released in coming weeks via the City’s Facebook page and through extensive advertising across the City.
Read the Kwinana Lolly Run FAQ.