PA­RADE TIME

Whanganui Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL BROOKS

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.

PIC­TURES / PAUL BROOKS

Vin­tage cars made a colour­ful dis­play in last year’s Christ­mas pa­rade.

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