Dancing for joy at Santa parade

ADRIAN EVANS
Last updated 08:55 22/11/2012
SANTA
JASON OXENHAM

MERRY MOVER: Dance teacher Marguerite Howlett ntsTnteamong the Farmers Santa Parade costumes.

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What happens when you mix Sugar Sprites, Serendipity, Sugar Plum and Bamboleo with The Night Before Christmas?

You get five colourful groups of children dancing on and alongside floats in the 78th Farmers Santa Parade on Sunday.

Bringing it all together is Renaissance School of Dance teacher Marguerite Howlett and her team.

It's the seventh time the Papatoetoe woman has volunteered as a choreographer for the annual parade.

"There's always new things to learn and I love working with kids and dancing with children."

Her favourite part of the big day is seeing such a huge range of children getting their chance to shine in their gorgeous costumes.

"It's not just choreographing a dance - you really have to think about it because the parade is moving all the time. There are people watching all around you, not just in front of you which can also make things quite tricky!"

The historic parade has been an annual family fixture since it was introduced by Farmers founder Robert Laidlaw in 1934.

These days the parade attracts more than 250,000 spectators, 4000 participants and 280 creations of Christmas magic over a 2.2 kilometre route.

After the parade will be Santa's Party in the newly refurbished Aotea Square with rides, stalls, giveaways, performances and music.

Farmers Santa Parade, 2pm-3pm, November 25, rain date December 2. Wheelchair area passes must be booked before 5pm tomorrow, call 377 6192 or email jennah@crackerjack

promotions.co.nz to book. Santa's Party, 3.15pm-5.30pm in Aotea Square. Go to santaparade.co.nz for details.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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