Entries have already started coming in for this year’s Christmas parade, to be held on Saturday, December 8, but Whanganui people have a habit of leaving things until the last minute.
“It would be nice to see entries come in early,” says Mainstreet’s Events Marketing and Promotions Manager Kelly Scarrow. “On the day is not good.”
She’s serious. Some people try to enter on the day of the parade.
One of the early entries is a newcomer to the Christmas parade and was involved in this year’s Festival of Cultures.
“It’s nice to see this transference on to other events,” says Kelly. “A bit of cultural diversity is always good.”
Kelly says they really want to see a seasonal theme shine through this year.
“When people start making their floats we want them to strongly theme them as Christmas and what it means to them.”
Too often a “float” can be just a vehicle — with a bit of tinsel — promoting a product or service with the spirit of Christmas being a secondary consideration ...ifatall.
“We want decoration, music playing, people dancing. We want a celebration, not an advertising opportunity.”
This year Mainstreet has tightened up the guidelines, details of which are available on application via their website.
Kelly would also like to see more churches take part in the parade.
“We all choose to celebrate Christmas in different ways and I think it’s a great opportunity to march or drive down the main street and show that.”
The parade will be followed by an after-party at Majestic Square, with live entertainment, plenty of food trucks and an appearance by Santa himself.
“There will be the traditional lolly scramble and [the not so traditional] selfies with Santa.”
The parade starts at 2pm with floats to assemble from midday in Cooks St. After the parade floats will disembark in Ridgway St near Bunnings.
The parade is supported by Ma¯ ori Wardens, More FM and a host of volunteers. Gypsy Blue will perform at the after-party and there are cash prizes for the best floats and costumes.
FESTIVE: Mainstreet’s Kelly Scarrow is flanked by operations staff Wayne Simmonds (left) and Cameron Dale.
Vintage cars made a colourful display in last year’s Christmas parade.