LAST Saturday was special for 3-year-old Pyper Brown.
The Invercargill child could not hide her excitement at seeing Santa Claus during the Southland Christmas Parade.
Her mother, Gemma Emerson, said her daughter was enjoying the seasonal festivities.
‘‘Last year, she was very young so I think it is the first time she is understanding what Christmas really is. She is loving every single bit.
‘‘She wrote a letter and asked me to come early to the parade ‘to not miss Santa’.’’
She and Pyper were among 20,000 people who attended the Southland Christmas parade.
About 60 floats and entertainers brought smiles to people of all ages as the parade moved through the inner city.
Lots of Christmas costumes, Santa hats and tinsel could be spotted, as people enjoyed the event.
The parade began at 2pm and lasted about an hour, travelling from the corner of Gala and Kelvin Sts, along Gala St and down Dee St to Tay St then up Kelvin St to where it all began.
Southland Christmas Parade Charitable Trust organiser Alice Pottinger was delighted with the support of the community and businesses following a challenging year due to Covid-19.
‘‘We are quite lucky down here. Many events around the country were cancelled but with the support of our community, we were able to put together this amazing event.