Parade revived after 30 years
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.