The Contact Grand Procession
All that hard work has finally paid off and it’s now time to show off your handmade float. That’s right, it’s time for The Contact Grand Procession!
The Procession journeys along Centennial Ave from 11.45am on Saturday September 26, the Grand Procession will be one of the many highlights of this year’s Festival. Thousands of spectators will line Centennial Avenue to witness the procession of colourful handcrafted floats, local groups, entertainment and more. These will be paraded down the Avenue to Pioneer Park where spectators can then enjoy a range of activities, entertainment and events! The Procession itself, however, is a much-loved part of the festival as it showcases the wonderful talent and skills of the Central Otago community. Hundreds of hours are spent by volunteers building and decorating the floats, and this includes groups, teams, families and individuals getting on board to help. The Procession is also the cornerstone of the annual spring event which first began in the 1950s highlighting the Central Otago area and the start of a new season. The striking floral parade and carnival atmosphere always brings thousands of visitors to the town, and the 2015 Festival is sure to be no exception.
Last year the Procession featured nine floats, more than 70 trucks, vintage cars and tractors, four pipe bands, the Mosgiel Brass Band, gymnasts, marchers, clowns, stilt walkers, and the Contact Float featuring the winning Senior Queen Pat Lines. Children also play a huge part in the Procession each year with primary schools, community groups and sports teams taking part in this wide-reaching event. The children have also had some great successes within the Procession. Last year Alexandra Primary School walked away with the title of Best School’s Float with ‘The Muppets Celebrate 150’. At the time, the school was celebrating their 150 year jubilee and pupils were familiar with the recent Muppet movies. School parents, both current and ex, constructed the float base and design with Matt Fowler Painters sponsoring the paint for the base. Pupils created Miss Piggy and Kermit using paper mache, as well as gluing on the flowers, and the entire process took seven weeks. Numerous people were involved, including Paper Plus and Pioneer Generation as sponsors, Delta providing a big shed for the storage of the float and New World providing them with crepe paper. Alexandra Primary School teacher Fiona Mackley says it was ‘‘lovely’’ to win a prize as it took a lot of work to undertake.
‘‘Everybody deserves to win a prize or be acknowledged, as the important thing is keeping the community spirit alive.’’
2014 Float Winners
‘‘Frozen" Alexandra and Clyde Combined Lions Clubs ‘‘May the Odds be forever in your Favour’’, Alexandra and Districts Youth Forum.
‘‘Wicked Waves’’, Alexandra Whitewater Club.
‘‘Frozen" Alexandra and Clyde Combined Lions Clubs.
" The Muppets Celebrate 150’ Alexandra Primary School.