Santa’s arriving tomorrow!
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.
Santa is coming to town.