FAMILIES in Chard will get the chance to see Father Christmas in the flesh as his tour of the surrounding area continues.

St Nick has already made his way around some of the nearby villages, including Tatworth, Winsham and Thorncombe.

The festive tours of local streets has been running for more than two decades now, and is organised by the Chard Carnival Committee.

This year there will be some change to usual proceedings because of the current coronavirus guidelines.

Jason Baker is the mayor of Chard and also chairman of the Chard Carnival Committee.

He said: “This is something that I have been involved in and organised now for more than 23 years. This year will be very different as we will not have all of the wonderful voluntary groups that have helped us collect over the years.

“There was lots of discussions surrounding the Santa float this year and if we would be able to take it around the town.

“We decided only a couple of weeks ago that we should find a way to make it happen and to bring some Christmas cheer in what has been a very difficult year for everyone.”

To stay off Santa’s naughty list, there are a few rules for this year’s street tour.

n Keep to social distancing guidelines,

n Donate digitally using gofundme.com/f/ChardSanta

n If you cannot donate digitally, place coins in buckets found in most Chard shops until Christmas

Cllr Baker added: “Most importantly, have fun.

“Santa wants to see you dancing, hear you singing and staying safe.

“We have completed our tour of Tatworth, Winsham and Thorncombe so far and have been amazed by the good wishes and donations that we have received.

“It has been great to see the smiles on Children’s faces and families coming out to see Santa and give him a wave.

“Although it all feels a little different it’s great to bring some cheer in this festive season and to keep this long standing tradition in Chard.

The Street tours start at around 6pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends.

The carnival committee team will also be in Chard Tesco on December 12 and December 19, from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.