Pa­rade re­vived af­ter 30 years

Waitaki Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RYAN DUN­LOP

For the first time in al­most 30 years there will be a main street Christ­mas pa­rade in Wai­mate.

The re­turn of the Wai­mate Christ­mas pa­rade, the plant­ing of a live Christ­mas tree near the town’s cen­tre and a new look main street are just some of the plans of a group that has an em­pha­sis on com­mu­nity projects.

The Pos­i­tive Wai­mate Com­mit­tee (PWC) had a goal of bring­ing the ‘‘com­mu­nity feel back to Wai­mate’’ and re­store a sense of pos­i­tiv­ity, PWC mem­ber Mandy Tangney said.

Tangney said the group was formed in March to re­store the ‘‘to­geth­er­ness’’ that had ‘‘been lost over the years’’.

The com­mit­tee had been work­ing on three fea­tures that would soon be a sta­ple of the com­mu­nity, she said.

Flow­er­ing bas­kets on Queen St, a live Christ­mas tree at Sed­don Square in Vic­to­ria Park and a Christ­mas pa­rade with full fan­fare were the group’s goals for 2017, she said.

‘‘It’s all about giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity.’’

All of the goals look set to be achieved, she said.

The pa­rade al­ready had seven floats or­gan­ised as well as cars, steam en­gines, fire en­gines, a roller blad­ing club, a dog club, horses and more, Tangney said.

Wai­mate Mayor Craig Row­ley had been in­volved, but as a busi­ness owner rather than as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the coun­cil, she said.

Row­ley said the town had not had a proper Christ­mas pa­rade since the late 1980s.

‘‘I think in­ter­est waned a bit at that stage, there was a strug­gle for vol­un­teers.

‘‘It’s come full cir­cle now and it will get the town hum­ming.’’

Row­ley said he did not think there had been a loss of a sense of com­mu­nity. The com­mit­tee was more about en­hanc­ing the Christ­mas pe­riod for the district and the plans were a tes­ta­ment to how ‘‘ru­ral New Zealand can pull to­gether’’.

Tangney said the com­mit­tee was ‘‘about cre­at­ing new mem­o­ries for lit­tle ones and bring­ing back mem­o­ries for the older mem­bers of the com­mu­nity’’.

The Wai­mate Christ­mas pa­rade will be held along Queen St on De­cem­ber 16 be­tween 11am to 2pm and would travel from the town’s cathe­dral to Sed­don Square, near Vic­to­ria Park.

Mandy Tangney and Wai­mate mayor Craig Row­ley are ex­cited the town will again have a Christ­mas pa­rade af­ter al­most 30 years.

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