Parade makes welcome return
There hasn't been a Santa parade in Otahuhu for at least a decade.
But that'll all change on Saturday when 20 community groups will join forces with the jolly man in red to bring Christmas festivities to the town centre.
The parade will start at 10am from Park Ave and it will travel along Great South Rd and end on Mason Ave.
The Otahuhu youth panel will be giving out lollies and balloons, while 60 kids from the Otahuhu Town Hall after-school programme will be performing a chant.
King's College's jazz band, a pipe band and brass band will provide the musical entertainment, and clowns, fairies, and face painters will be around to keep the kids entertained.
Spectators can spot Santa bringing up the rear of the parade in a vintage car and will be able to meet and greet him after the parade.
Otahuhu town manager Richette Rodger says the Otahuhu Mainstreet and Business Association has always held a community Christmas event at the Fairburn Reserve.
But a new pool is being built at the reserve and that encouraged the association to consider other options.
"We get requests every year for a Santa parade," Ms Rodger says.
The last parade might have been about 10 years ago, she says, although she's been told by the Otahuhu Historical Society it was 12 years ago.
"We don't have an exact record of it. There's no date on the photos," she says.
Now that the parade is making a comeback, Ms Rodger is hoping it will become an annual event. "We hope to get more people involved," she says.
"It will always be colourful and it will always be vibrant."
Visitors to Otahuhu are warned the part of Great South Rd affected by the parade will be closed until after 11am.
However, there is plenty of parking on King St, Station Rd and Hall Ave and at the Otahuhu Town Centre.