Secret judges add to the fun

HAPPY TIMES: Rodney Times staff get into the spirit at the 2011 Warkworth Christmas Parade.
HAPPY TIMES: Rodney Times staff get into the spirit at the 2011 Warkworth Christmas Parade.

Secret judges in random locations put an extra twist in this year's Christmas parade in Warkworth.

The parade on Saturday has more than 26 floats being judged for prizes.

But last year there were three known judges picking their favourite float, while the public picked a winner too.

This year there will be five mystery judges at various locations around the parade circuit.

Co-ordinator Lee-Anne Scarth says this will encourage participants to maintain their energy around the whole course.

The parade will follow the same route as last year, down Neville St, along Queen St and up Mill Lane back to the start. There will be two laps.

There are five categories for floats - kindergarten/playcentre, schools, community and social groups, businesses and an overall best float prize.

Category prizes are $200, with $300 for the overall winner.

There will also be spot prizes ranging from ice-cream vouchers to dolls, other vouchers and clothing.

Mrs Scarth says the parade "is all go" with some great floats, businesses offering support, and good weather expected.

Other activities include face-painting fairies, a town crier, and photographs with Santa in his grotto after the parade.

The only difficulties arose through regulations and financial obligations to the Auckland Council.

This made it difficult because the event was run by volunteers, with help from businesses, and organisers wanted to also put money aside for prizes.

Other considerations were about safety, including handing out lollies rather than throwing them.

Activities begin around 12.30pm with the parade starting at 1pm and finishing around 1.45pm.

Prize giving is at 2pm.

Volunteers are needed to help put up Christmas lights in Queen St, Warkworth. The job is Wednesday and Thursday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, starting from Stirling Sports. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a ladder, a hammer, and a charged-up cordless drill.

Rodney Times