No parade for Pa¯pa¯moa Santa
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.”