Up to 25,000 people will be permitted – subject to change – into Adelaide Oval to watch the twilight event, to be held on Saturday November 14, with tens of thousands more expected to watch at home via a live online broadcast.
It will feature floats, dancing and carol singing, with a traditional visit from Father Christmas to conclude the free event.
The annual parade, which normally attracts about 300,000 people, has been held along city streets on the second Saturday of November since 1933.
The pageant is officially recognised as a “heritage icon” by the National Trust of Australia and a “state institution” by the SA Government.
Marshall announced the revised format – prompted by COVID-19 social distancing restrictions – at Adelaide Oval this morning, describing it as a “theatrical performance”.
“This will be broadcast around the world and I think you’ll find that millions of people will see South Australia – some of them for the very first time,” he said.
“I think this will be a way of really positioning us on the world-stage.”
He said families who want to watch the event live from Adelaide Oval will be asked to enter a ballot, which will open in the coming weeks.
Free public transport will run to transport those with tickets to and from Adelaide Oval on the night.
Pageant director Brian Gilbertson said the event would be similar to an opening ceremony or a “massive theatre show”.
He said children watching the event at home would be encouraged to continue pageant traditions by drawing on their driveways with chalk and eating gingerbread.
“Father Christmas has got his permit and he’s coming to Australia and we’re going to enjoy it very much,” he said.
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