Now, that’s feel­ing more like Christ­mas!

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - PAUL MITCHELL

Santa took his sleigh for the tra­di­tional ride around The Square dur­ing the Palmer­ston North Christ­mas pa­rade on Sun­day.

The threat­en­ing rain largely stayed at bay, al­low­ing a colour­ful pro­ces­sion that in­cluded Chinese dancers, cheer­lead­ers and uni­cy­clists, to keep rel­a­tively dry as they wended their way through the cen­tre of the city.

Nei­ther the driz­zly con­di­tions, nor the oc­ca­sional short shower could dampen the en­thu­si­asm or ex­cite­ment of the fam­ily groups lin­ing the route.

The pa­rade at­tracted more than 10,000 peo­ple who crowded the streets and The Square to of­fi­cially wel­come in the fes­tive sea­son.

Palmer­ston North mayor Grant Smith said the pa­rade ben­e­fited from a lot of new floats this year. There were 60 busi­ness and com­mu­nity groups that con­trib­uted to the pro­ces­sion, or­gan­ised by Kairanga Li­ons.

Four-year-old Molly Chap­man slipped her way to the front of the crowd, en­thu­si­as­ti­cally wav­ing to each float, the pock­ets of her yel­low rain­coat slowly fill­ing with the lol­lies and small gifts that the cos­tumed per­form­ers handed out.

‘‘The Christ­mas pa­rade is cool, cool,’’ she said.

Molly was ex­cited to see Santa, but not half as much as she was to see a real live ‘‘pi­rate’’ near the be­gin­ning of the pro­ces­sion – Palmer­ston North’s bell-ring­ing town crier Caro­line Robin­son, re­splen­dent in her cer­e­mo­nial 18th cen­tury out­fit.

Te Manawa’s float, fea­tur­ing per­form­ers in in­flat­able di­nosaur cos­tumes, was a high­light for 5-year-old By­ron Forbes.

Tayla Corn­wall found it hard to choose a favourite from the floats, roller-skaters, cartwheel­ing gym­nasts and leap­ing cheer­lead­ers.

The 8-year old did find pick­ing her favourite Santa from the pa­rade eas­ier, though. Sur­pris­ingly, it wasn’t the big man him­self who was throw­ing lol­lies from his sleigh at the end of the pa­rade.

She pre­ferred the woolly­bearded and kilted St Nick who had marched past ear­lier.

‘‘I re­ally liked the Santa lead­ing the Scot­tish pipe band.’’

Prior to the pa­rade, the usual Christ­mas mar­ket in The Square at­tracted a wide va­ri­ety of stall­hold­ers, with live en­ter­tain­ment from the sound­stage.

Kairanga Li­ons was putting its pa­rade fees to­wards the Wild­base wildlife recovery cen­tre planned for the Es­planade, and to­wards com­mu­nity youth pro­grammes.

Pipe ma­jor Sandy Ma­claus (St Knicker-less?) leads out the band on Sun­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.