Sleigh bells to ring around city streets in November

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Santa Claus at a previous Southland Santa Parade. Photo: Shane Todd

IT may only be mid-year, but the date for the Southland Santa Parade is set and planning is well under way for the popular community event.

Announcing Saturday, November 28, as the date gave people the chance to register their interest if they wanted to take part, parade manager Alice Pottinger said.

What began as a Christmas parade with nine full-sized sponsored floats was now, 21 years later, a diverse parade of 55 placements, including 26 floats, bands, street performers and community groups.

The focus was on children and community with “15,000-20,000 people who watched the parade each year”.

Into her sixth year co-organising the event, Mrs Pottinger said about 2000 people took part in the annual parade, some as part of a float, some in community groups and walkers, others as street entertainers or helping people to prepare such as face painters, and various other volunteers.

“It was a huge effort by everyone.

“Every year I think, it is such a lot of work. Then the day comes around and I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing the whole community involved.

“It brings the community closer… and is great for Invercargill.”

The organisers were now taking entries for the parade, including those interested in entering a float as well as those who would like to be a part of the entertainment, whether walking along the parade route or as a static piece.

“We would love to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in the parade… let’s make a day of it.

“It’s a great time [of the year] to do it.. the sun is shining, holidays are on the way, people are planning family and Christmas events… it adds to the spirit of Christmas.”

For more information about parade entries or street entertainment, contact Alice Pottinger on alice@aspirp.co.nz

  • Southland Santa Parade, Saturday, November 28, from 2pm, travelling along Gala, Dee, Tay and Kelvin Sts, Invercargill.
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