Christmas parade in peril
The future of Puketapapa’s Santa Parade is on thin ice.
A damning report on the Santa Parade and Carols By Candlelight events has prompted the local board to vote on the viability of holding only one community event this festive season.
Attendance for the parade at the Mt Roskill shops was estimated at 600 people and only 42 per cent of those were satisfied with the festivities.
But local board member Ella Kumar says it takes years to build strong, successful events and axing the Santa parade when its only in it’s fourth year is jumping the gun.
‘‘We struggle to engage our community as it is and now we are taking away something which universally appeals and brings people together.’’
Board member Michael Wood says there has to be a better way to spend the money.
‘‘Every town centre around us holds a parade,’’ he says. ‘‘We can use this as a chance to make something unique.’’
The Carols By Candlelight event fared slightly better in the report, with a much higher attendance and a 64 per cent satisfaction rating.
Former board member Peter Muys spoke during the public forum at the meeting on May 28.
He says traditionally the event was a highlight in the community social calendar and believes with a few tweaks it can return to prominence.
‘‘Local groups need to be empowered to take up the challenge,’’ he says.
Promotion of the event also needs to be community-based rather than left to Auckland Council, he says.
Consultation with community groups, schools and business association will focus on creating a single event with carols at its heart but also including successful elements of the parade.
Christmas parade scenes like this could soon be a thing of the past for Puketapapa.