The team of horses are ready to pull riders into a socially-distanced display of the Gift at the Caravan Farm Theatre Dec. 8-Jan. 2, 2020. (Caravan Farm Theatre image)

Spallumcheen theatre hosts COVID-friendly sleigh-ride show

Tickets for socially-distanced sleigh rides, show available Nov. 17

Tickets are on sale for a special socially-distanced holiday event in Spallumcheen.

The Caravan Farm Theatre will be hosting its popular Winter Sleigh-Ride Show, the Gift, in December with all COVID-19 protocols in place to ensure the safety of the community.

This year’s one-hour ride, running several times from Dec. 8 to Jan. 2, will see a 48-person capacity for each show.

Four horse-drawn sleighs will accommodate 12 patrons, or two bubbles of up to six people. Each bubble will be designated a side of the sleigh and be kept separate from the other by a plexiglass barrier running down the middle.

Masks are mandatory for all patrons.

“These are challenging times for everyone, and now, more than ever, we need to find ways to affirm our sense of community,” theatre manager and artistic director Estelle Shook said. “As a professional arts organization, we exist to do just that: create moments for people to reflect and connect.

“We will continue to be here for our community, with our highest priority being the health and safety of our audience, teamsters, ride attendants and artists,” Shook said.

Caravan Farm Theatre has already successfully managed to host outdoor events amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including its 3D spatial soundscape at Halloween in its Walk of Terror, and this summer with its Outdoor Cinema Experience.

The organization decided to go the extra mile to plan a COVID-friendly winter ride event after a survey found 80 per cent would be interested in attending a show if they felt comfortable sharing a sleigh with others outside their bubble.

This year, patrons will be treated to a viewing of the Gift.

Originally written in 1943 by Philip Van Doren Stern, the part radio play, part pilgrimage that was the basis for the film It’s a Wonderful Life will feature a team of local and remote theatre and horse professionals and narration by renowned stage, TV and film actor Allan Louis.

“The Gift is a return to the essential: the timeless act of gathering with loved ones to listen to a story well told,” Shook said. “This year, the incomparable Allan Louis will join us in voice, to take us on a journey through the winter’s night to find the ties that bind us together.”

Tickets must be booked in advance starting Nov. 17. For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact the Caravan Farm Theatre box office at 1-866-546-8533 or visitcaravanfarmtheatre.com/show/the-gift/.

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