Santa’s ar­riv­ing to­mor­row!

Rotorua Weekender - - News - Leah Teb­butt

Santa is com­ing to town to­mor­row af­ter he and his rein­deer were turned away be­cause of the weather last week­end.

The an­nual Ro­torua Christ­mas Pa­rade and Fes­ti­val had to be post­poned last Satur­day due to a se­vere weather warn­ing.

Event organiser Alia Ryan says the post­pone­ment was dis­ap­point­ing but there was a safety con­cern for the com­mu­nity at the time.

“We had been watch­ing the weather fore­cast from 10 days out to see how it was track­ing, and once it be­came a se­vere weather watch for high winds and heavy rain that’s where we needed to pull the pin, as we’ve got in­flat­a­bles and things that re­quire power.”

But Alia is pas­sion­ate about Christ­mas and did not want to let the com­mu­nity down by can­celling the pa­rade al­to­gether.

She has even re­placed Santa at the last minute due to the orig­i­nal’s un­avail­abil­ity this week­end.

The big­gest at­trac­tion of the pa­rade for many kids has kept his iden­tity a se­cret but Ryan says he is a well-re­spected mem­ber of the com­mu­nity.

“We’ve got a lit­tle bit more of a tra­di­tional float for him this year, for the tra­di­tion­al­ists out there in our com­mu­nity which will be pretty cool.” she says.

This is Ryan’s third year work­ing on the Christ­mas pa­rade for Boost Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

She says she en­joys cre­at­ing a free event that at­tracts all ages.

“The Christ­mas pa­rade has a spe­cial place in our com­mu­nity as the event that kick-starts the fes­tive sea­son.

“It starts to feel a lot more like Christ­mas once you see Santa go by and for some fam­i­lies it’s prob­a­bly one of their big­gest Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tions.”

Watch out for old-time favourite Snoopy, who will ap­pear this year, along­side new en­tries.

She says she is ex­cited to see the cre­ativ­ity in the floats this year and is an­tic­i­pat­ing the win­ners.

“We have prizes for The Hits cham­pion float and they get a shield.

“It’s from the com­mu­nity for the com­mu­nity.”

She thanked all the vol­un­teers and com­mu­nity groups who have been pa­tient with the or­gan­is­ers.

The pa­rade be­gins at 4pm to­mor­row out­side Ro­torua Pri­mary School on Arawa St.

It then moves through the city and ends at the Vil­lage Green, Ro­torua Lake­front, about 5pm.

Photo / File

Santa is com­ing to town.

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