Jolly biggest and jolly best parade
Santa Claus was welcomed to town by a crowd of 250,000 at the annual Farmers Santa Parade on Sunday.
For the 76th year, the parade wound its way through the heart of the city, with organisers calling it the biggest and best yet.
“Every year I think we struggle to deliver a better parade, yet here I am again, thinking this is the best one to date,” says Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust chairman Michael Barnett.
He says the event would not be possible without the 4000 volunteers who helped put it together.
Parade organiser Pam Glaser says the volunteers are an invaluable part of the day.
“Most of the volunteers have done so many parades and there’s so much experience and depth,” she says.
“It’s a true community day. All these different people coming together and doing their tasks.”
Volunteers for the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation who collected on the day also reported a generous response from the crowd this year.
A highlight of this year’s parade was All White Ivan Vicelich who led the parade as Grand Marshall accompanied by children in the team he coaches.
White on: All Whites defender Ivan Vicelich opens the 76th annual Santa Parade down Auckland’s Queen St.
Crowd favourite: The star of the parade, Santa, weaves his way down Queen St in front of thousands of adoring fans.
Dancing queens: Dancers perform for the masses at the annual Farmers Santa Parade.
Double take: Santas make their way down Queen St.