Jolly big­gest and jolly best pa­rade

Central Leader - - News -

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.

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