Re­gion comes alive with fes­tiv­i­ties

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Conversations - IAN MCKELVIE, RAN­GI­TIKEI MP

Our re­gion is alive and well and herald­ing the ar­rival of the fes­tive sea­son with mar­ket days and Christ­mas pa­rades.

Many of these events are sup­ported by spon­sor­ship from lo­cal busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

It’s great to see ru­ral and pro­vin­cial com­mu­ni­ties com­ing to­gether to cel­e­brate Christ­mas.

Bulls, Mar­ton and Tai­hape all held their re­spec­tive Christ­mas pa­rades on De­cem­ber 3 and by all ac­counts they were big­ger and bet­ter than ever.

Sue and I were lucky enough to be a part of the fes­tiv­i­ties in Bulls.

The floats on show were amaz­ing and rep­re­sented the ex­cit­ing and di­verse com­mu­nity that Bulls has be­come. There was plenty of food avail­able along with a va­ri­ety of mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment. There was even a minia­ture train and Santa’s cave was set up in the town hall.

Bulls School seized the ini­tia­tive and held their mar­ket day in the af­ter­noon, which was also a great suc­cess.

This year’s Mar­ton Jaycees’ an­nual Christ­mas pa­rade fol­lowed hot on the heels of the an­nual mar­ket day so there’s cer­tainly plenty go­ing on over there.

The mar­ket day at­tracted around 160 in­ter­est­ing stalls and some out­stand­ing street per­form­ers who show­cased the vi­brant na­ture of this com­mu­nity in the best pos­si­ble way.

Satur­day’s Christ­mas pa­rade got un­der way with a fly­over from a Grum­man Avenger (the largest sin­gle en­gine plane used dur­ing WWII).

The air­craft was pi­loted by Squadron Leader Jim Rankin from RNZAF Ohakea and Mayor Andy Wat­son was on board for the ride.

The pa­rade high­lighted the town’s com­mu­nity spirit with an ar­ray of floats rep­re­sent­ing many schools, kinder­gartens, busi­nesses and com­mu­nity groups.

Tai­hape’s Christ­mas pa­rade was also big­ger and bet­ter than last year and once again was made pos­si­ble thanks to spon­sor­ship from lo­cal busi­nesses.

Along with the many floats, the ve­hi­cles from the Wan­ganui Vintage Car Club were pop­u­lar as was Dennis the Fire En­gine – a fire en­gine that was made in Eng­land in 1928 and spent most of its work­ing life with the Welling­ton Fire Brigade.

I am al­ways heart­ened by the sup­port from the wider com­mu­nity when it comes to events, which bring the com­mu­nity to­gether. We’re very good at this in Ran­gi­tikei.

Whether it is gath­er­ing to com­mem­o­rate at An­zac Day ser­vices or meet­ing with kin­dred spir­its to share in­ter­ests and hob­bies, our com­mu­ni­ties have a fan­tas­tic abil­ity to en­gage and stay con­nected.

There are so many op­por­tu­ni­ties for young and old to mix and meet with oth­ers and to share their en­thu­si­asm.

Com­mu­nity spirit is alive and well through­out our re­gion.

The re­gion’s Christ­mas pa­rades have been ex­cit­ing for res­i­dents.

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