No pa­rade for Pa¯pa¯moa Santa

Te Puke Times - - NEWS -

Pa¯pa¯moa’s an­nual Santa Pa­rade will now be held ev­ery sec­ond year af­ter crowd num­bers for the event “plateaued”.

Pa¯pa¯moa Un­lim­ited told Tau­ranga City Coun­cil’s au­dit, fi­nance, risk and mon­i­tor­ing com­mit­tee that it be­lieved mak­ing the pa­rade a bi­en­nial event would help re­vi­talise it.

“We are tak­ing a year off,” Pa¯pa¯moa Un­lim­ited deputy chair­man and Pa¯pa¯moa Plaza cen­tre man­ager David Hill said. Re­gional growth rates were up 5-6 per cent but the event was not any more pop­u­lar in at­ten­dance, Hill said.

“Pa¯pa¯moa is grow­ing at huge rates but our num­bers have stuck at 15,000 for quite some time,” he said. “We are not can­celling it, we are just re­vi­tal­is­ing, so it can be big­ger and big­ger ev­ery sec­ond year.”

Mr Hill said a bi­en­nial event would ben­e­fit the small pool of vol­un­teers, in­clud­ing lo­cal kinder­gartens, schools and busi­nesses.

“It means the event can be a fundraiser for schools so they can raise money rather than spend it,” he said. “It gives us the op­por­tu­nity to try some­thing new. So we can go big­ger and bet­ter next year. We don’t want to be en­cum­bered just be­cause it is a tra­di­tion.”

A fam­ily-friendly com­mu­nity event would re­place this year’s Santa Pa­rade.

Pa¯pa¯moa Un­lim­ited events man­ager Sarah Lewis said Christ­mas was a busy time and proved tricky for busi­nesses to think about mak­ing a float for the pa­rade.

“I think the key about hav­ing it ev­ery sec­ond year is it al­lows us to im­prove the qual­ity of the event,” she said.

She said this year’s “car­ni­val-type” event would be on the grass area next to the Pa¯pa¯moa Plaza from mid-af­ter­noon to early evening on De­cem­ber 16.

“Our com­mu­nity is spoilt for choice with Christ­mas pa­rades around Tau­ranga. This will give kids an al­ter­na­tive event to go to ev­ery year.”

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