Special Christmas parade planned > New Zealand

Posted On October 14, 2006

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It might be early October, but already plans are under way for the Ashburton Business Association’s annual Santa parade on December 8.

This year’s parade will be a vastly different affair to its predecessors, with a new time and a host of new events. Parade 2006 style will be held early evening and will wrap up with a Christmas festival, concert, talent quest and carol singing. Santa’s entourage will wind its way along East Street at 6pm, with a portion of the street closed to traffic to allow the post parade festival to take place.

Christmas-themed entertainment including bouncy castles, food stalls, rides and Santa in his special grotto at the Ashburton Information Centre will all help make the event a special one for the district’s children. As darkness falls, the East Street Christmas lights will be switched on and a fireworks display will start after 9pm.

Shop owners in the business area are being encouraged to remain open late that night. Ronald McDonald will lead the parade and there will be prizes for the best floats. For children there will be two competitions – best dressed fairy or elf and best dressed bike.

Both competitions will be judged prior to the parade and everyone who enters will be able to take part in the parade, bikes on the street and elves and fairies on Santa’s float. The success of the event would depend very much on the support it receives, business association co-chairperson Janine Sundberg said.

“We want this to be an outstanding event for the whole community to enjoy, but we need business and community involvement to achieve this. If this happens, then the sky’s the limit to what we can achieve with our parades in the future,” she said.

Entry forms will be sent to business and community groups next week. These will also be available from the Ashburton Information Centre.

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