A Santa float spreading Christmas cheer was targeted by teenage louts who pelted it with stones.
Families hoping to catch a glimpse of Father Christmas in Deeside, were left disappointed but organised have said that the float was not forced to make a quick getaway and actually left as planned.
One resident described the incident as “absolutely disgusting”, reports North Wales Live.
“Shame older children have to wreck it for the young ones,” she wrote on social media.
“These children have missed enough this year.”
Organisers said they were relieved no one was hurt but stressed they had never intended to tour the streets with their Santa float.
To do so may have encouraged curbside crowds in breach of Covid rules, said Deeside Round Table (DRT).
Sunday’s incident occurred when DRT members were delivering a pre-booked Christmas tree to a resident in the area.
The delivery service is part of a package of Christmas activities provided by DRT, which has spent the year helping local communities through the Covid crisis.
DRT chairman Mark Sephton said marshals accompanying the Santa float had quickly put an end to the Garden City stone throwing.
“The stones could have hit a windscreen, a bystander or one of our members,” he said.
“We asked them to stop and they did. Only two stones were thrown.
“We think some families were under the mistaken impression that we were driven away from the area. We weren’t – we delivered a tree and left as planned.”
DRT’s Santa float has been touring Deeside’s streets for 60 years, though last Christmas Garden City missed out after volunteers were “pelted with objects” and “verbally abused” in 2018.
At the time DRT said it had “not always been welcomed with open arms” in some communities.
However, Mr Sephton said last year’s decision to steer clear of the Sealand village resulted mainly from a shortage of volunteers.
At the time DRT’s membership had fallen to seven, meaning it wasn’t possible to tour 16 communities as in previous years.
“This incident won’t stop the Santa float returning to the area,” insisted Mr Sephton.
This year membership has soared to 34 after DRT pulled out the stops to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
During the first lockdown more than £10,000 worth of food was donated to elderly and vulnerable local people.
More recently the Round Table and its partners provided free lunches for families affected by the pandemic.
For Halloween, DRT superheroes in masks and skin-tight costumes handed out “scare packs”, and in November they hosted the first in a series of drive-in movies, bringing Frozen 2 and Sonic The Hedgehog to Greenacres Animal Park, Mancot.
DRT’s Christmas push includes virtual grottos as members attempt to bring a bit of happiness to under-privileged communities.
“For £5 youngsters can have a five-minute meeting with Santa via Zoom,” said Mr Sephton.
“Already we’ve sold out four of our seven grotto evenings, and some others are 80% booked.”
In partnership with Dandy’s Topsoil & Turf, and Round Table groups in Chester and Ellesmere Port, DRT’s Santa float is this year delivering 150 Christmas trees straight to customers’ front doors.
The service carries a £10 charge but all 150 delivery slots were booked within six hours.
“Ideally we’d also like to tour streets with the float, as we have done in previous years, but there is a concern it might attract crowds and compromise social distancing,” said Mr Sephton.
“However, we are talking with Flintshire County Council to see if there is something we can so that doesn’t breach coronavirus regulations.”
*story by Mirror Online