Santa Claus is all set to sleigh into town
Wildbase is about to be the beneficiary of this Sunday’s Palmerston North Christmas parade with a $10,000 stocking-stuffer.
Event co-ordinator for organisers Kairanga Lions, Carol Kelly, said making a community donation to the wildlife recovery centre to be built in the Victoria Esplanade was possible because the parade was entirely organised and staffed by volunteers.
‘‘We contributed to Wildbase last year, too. No-one gets paid for this. We do it to promote community spirit. As we’re all volunteers, we can give the labour component of the parade costs back to the community.’’
Kelly said Kairanga Lions had held the city council contract for the parade for the past five or six years.
That continuity meant there were ‘‘plenty of bodies on the ground on the day who know what they’re doing’’.
Kelly said they were planning an innovation in The Square to enhance the parade experience.
At 2pm on Sunday when the fleet of 60-odd floats rolls down Church St from the Railway Land towards The Square, people will be able to watch its progress on a big screen set up in the events quadrant near the sound stage.
‘‘This is new territory for us, and hopefully, depending on the technology, we will be able to beam shots of the parade as it gets under way, into The Square.’’
Kelly said Santa’s sleigh, which traditionally brings up the rear of the parade, would be weighed down at the start with 100 kilograms of lollies. It would obviously get lighter as the parade progressed.
There had been no problems attracting entrants this year, with the parade capped at 60 for logistics purposes, ‘‘though we normally do take a couple of latecomers’’.
Participation in the parade was free, and Kelly said this had improved the quality of the floats.
‘‘When we made entry free for everyone, we stopped getting so many of those trucks that were decorated with just a bit of tinsel.’’
It had also helped make it more community-oriented, aligning the city event with parades in other Manawatu centres.
Christmas parade day starts in The Square on Sunday at 10am with the traditional Christmas market, and there would be onstage entertainment between midday and 2pm.
Now all that is required is a decent break in the weather.
Santa sweetens up the parade crowd.