Crowds flock to see festive floats

A 'wheelie good' parade

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 12:00 10/12/2012
 	 Feilding’s Christmas parade
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ

FESTIVE WILD WEST: Feilding’s Christmas parade featured motorised floats, as well as a more traditional mode of transport.

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Thousands of excited children and their families lined the central streets of Feilding for the town's annual dose of Christmas cheer.

Yesterday's Christmas parade had more than 170 floats or groups making the long march from Manfeild to the clock tower.

Santa hats were out in force, Christmas songs were sung and the "Merry Christmas" refrain hung over the happy throng yesterday.

"I thought it was fantastic. I liked that it was motorised," said Jo Jensen, of Feilding.

Jack Bragley, 10, thought the man shooting parade-goers with a water pistol was "sneaky".

Marlene McKenzie, of Marton, took along her grandson Jake, 4, and thought the parade was "wonderful". Jake particularly liked the Thomas the Tank Engine train.

Ms McKenzie went to the Ashhurst parade on Saturday and was looking forward to Marton's next week.

The biggest cheers were reserved for the pirate ship and a float of SpongeBob SquarePants.

Also carted through was the old Santa statue from Palmerston North, recently bought by Downtown centre manager Greg Key.

For the peckish, there were plenty of lollies thrown from the floats - although few made the back rows.

And, in case anyone had forgotten the event was motorised, the woman on the microphone made many references to the "wheelie good" parade.

The city has run a non-motorised parade for the past two years.

Feilding's Christmas cave was doing a bumper trade with a steady throng of children asking Santa for a special gift and talking about how well-behaved they had been.

Apryl Iles, 8, of Feilding, wants a PSP, while Jenna-Marie Taffard, 8, would like some music - particularly Now 40 and something by country star Taylor Swift.

The judges awarded Manchester Street School the best school float, Gail's Childcare Centre the best pre-school float and best Christmas-themed float, Coach House Manawatu the best community float, and Totally Vets the best business float.

Float winners:

Winner of Best School Float - Manchester Street School
Highly Commended - North Street School

Winner of Best Pre-School Float - Gail's Childcare Centre
Highly Commended - Pitter Patter Education Centre

Winner of Best Community Float - Coach House Museum
Highly Commended - Feilding Cadet Unit

Winner of Best Business Float - Totally Vets
Highly Commended - Downtown

Winner of Best Christmas Themed Float - Gails Childcare Centre
Highly Commended - Feilding Intermediate School

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- Manawatu Standard

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