Santa Float FAQ

We understand that people have a lot of questions about the Christmas Float so we have put together a list of the questions that we get asked most often and will try to answer them as best as we can. If you are still not sure, please get in touch with us.

Probably the top most asked question for us. Not easy. We have got a set of routes that combine covering as many houses as possible whilst being able to actually manoeuvre the float around the route.

When children are on the side of the float we do try and let Santa interact with them or have a picture taken – although this also means that we take longer to get round routes. We also have a time limit for the collection which is set by the collection license we need from St Albans Council which means that we don’t collect after 9pm and may simply run out of time.

In addition to this, we have a limited number of volunteers who collect. Get in touch if you would like to be involved.  The weather often plays a part, too. And then there is the float that sometimes doesn’t want to ‘play ball’.

Taking all of this into consideration, we can’t come round every street in every area. We may also, at times, be forced to leave out certain streets that we know would hold up the collection. This is totally at the discretion of the team that collects on the night and, unfortunately unavoidable.

We plan and publish our routes, so that as many children young and old as possible get a chance to see Santa on his sleigh. This, however, is no guarantee that we will be able to follow the published routes or indeed complete the whole route. See ‘Why are you not coming down my street?’ for a more detailed explanation.

The license we have allows us to collect until 9pm so if we stopped and the drove off around that time then that’s because we have come to the end or close to the end of our allotted time. There may also be a range of other reasons as listed in the other FAQs here that may mean we have to finish the route without completing it or before our allocated time runs out.

We only cover St Albans and Redbourn but not all of it. Some areas are covered by our friends from the St Albans Lions’ club. You can also check our street finder to see if you are on our route.

Outside St Albans is a bit harder to say as there is no central organisation for Santa Floats.

We have never been to Park Street/How Wood/Jersey Farm in St Albans, as this area has traditionally been covered by the St Albans Lions Club who are a different organisation.

Sadly no, that would be unfair to other people. We try and complete a route, also see ‘Why are you not coming round my street?’
This is not so simple. We have printed route plans for the driver and the collectors and they are worked out to give maximum coverage in the available time we hold a license for. These routes are often familiar to the drivers and collectors and give us a chance to run as smoothly as possible. It is similarly quite difficult to ‘just reverse a route’ – there may be one-way streets or other difficulties in going a route ‘backwards’, as much as we would like to do this.

You also need to remember that the whole Christmas float is organised by what is now a very small Round Table and we all give up our time to make this happen. We really are in need of new members, so why not get in touch and help creating the magic?

Again, see ‘Why are you not coming down my street?’. However, if we are so close to you, you can always come onto the street and meet us. We have invested a lot of time and effort in showing you where we are going to be. We have added a live Santa tracker which should work if the technology doesn’t fail us and should show you where the sleigh is – live – so you can judge when you would need to come out and catch us.
This is very hard to predict and often we don’t know ourselves. This depends on many things outside our control: weather, traffic, manoeuvring the float around parked vehicles or sometimes technical problems we may have with Santa’s float, etc. etc. The best way is to follow our live Santa tracker which will show Santa’s progress live on the homepage of our website.
We cover most of St Albans and go to as many areas and street as we possibly can. We are a small group of volunteers who give up our time to run the float. If you are male, interested in what we do and think it might be fun to expand the coverage of the Christmas float, have a look around our website and get in touch. We are always looking for new members. It is also possible that your area is already covered by our friends of the St Albans Lions Club and we don’t both collect in the same area.
No, sorry. We only have 8 members who are all giving up a lot of time before Christmas when we everyone is very busy already. We just about manage to cover all the routes. If you have a specific project in mind for the float itself and are willing to make a generous donation to our charity fund please get in touch.
We work with a number of charities, some of them for many years, to help them with their fund-raising. We can’t promise that we will be able to help you but you are most welcome to get in touch with us.
All of the money we collect goes to local charities. We have supported a number of charities over the years and are always happy to hear from local charities that would like our support.
No, all the money from collections goes to charities. Any of the fun we have together in addition to the float is of course paid out of our own pockets.
The routes we have got have been planned and negotiated for years. We are increasingly struggling to keep visiting the routes that we have. New routes are currently out of the question without an influx of new members to Round Table. If you are interested, why not make a resolution to join us in the new year and help us grow.
In ‘normal’ years this may or may not happen. We would stop the float for the collectors to catch up now and then. If you are lucky, you would be able to. Remember that we need to get round as many streets as we can, so the float will move on without warning and you are responsible for keeping your children safe. This year, we will keep the float moving at all times and we would ask you to stay away from the float for obvious reasons of hygiene.
A bit like ‘talking to Santa’, you may be lucky. Santa would generally be happy to take a picture with you but it may proof tricky when we need to move on to get other children young and old to catch a glimpse of the big man in red. As always, safety is paramount, so please ensure that you keep you and your children safe and do not approach the float for hygiene reasons.