SANTA and his sleigh will not be be making their way through Skipton this year, although families will be able to catch up with him at the town’s supermarkets.

Organisers Skipton Craven Rotary have been forced to cancel the Santa sleigh collections for the first time in 25 years because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is a blow for the club, which last year raised more than £7,000 from the event for local charities.

Rotarian Bryan Ayton, said: “For the last 25 years, the highlight of our fundraising year has been our door-to-door collections over ten evenings immediately before Christmas, when Santa and his sleigh and a host of ‘helpers’ take to Skipton and villages, to raise money for our nominated charities.It is also an event that brings so much joy to young and not so young alike, many of who have their first sighting of Santa, which heralds the start of the Christmas celebrations.

“Sadly, coronavirus prevents us from carrying out door-to-door collections, and social distancing rules preclude any opportunity for the children to get close to Santa. So, reluctantly we have decided to cancel this year’s Santa Sleigh run through the streets of Skipton and surrounding villages.”

Instead, Santa and his helpers, all wearing face masks and observing social distancing, will be at Morrisons Supermarket from 10am to 4pm on Friday, December 4; Saturday, December 5; Sunday, December 6; Friday, December 11 and Friday, December 18. At Tesco on Saturday, December 12; Sunday, December 13; Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20.

People can also take part in this year’s Great Skipton Virtual Santa Fun Run to help raise money for good causes, to register, visit: