Power restored to festive parade
Palmerston North's Christmas parade will be given a fuel injection this year.
For the past two festive seasons, the traditional Christmas parade through the centre of the city has traded petrol for people-power.
The public gave the non-motorised parade a resounding thumbs-down, prompting organisers to reinstate motorised floats.
Talk of moving back to a motorised format began as soon as last year's parade finished, but Destination Manawatu chief executive Lance Bickford officially confirmed yesterday that there would be both motorised and non-motorised floats this year.
The idea of a hybrid parade was first floated at a meeting in February, he said.
"There were obviously those that wanted trucks back, but there were lots who didn't.
"We'll see how it goes, but we think it will be a great event."
Organiser Carol Kelly said the parade would start at the Railway Land before heading up Church St into The Square.
The parade would then go left toward the bus terminal, before cutting through The Square into Main St and ending back at the Railway Land.
The 1700-metre trek was slightly longer than last year, but Ms Kelly said people were still being encouraged to use their legs instead of trucks.
"Palmerston North is a cycling, walking, recycling kind of city."
Having a mix of groups on floats and on feet was nothing unusual - "the bagpipers always walk" - and made sure anyone could take part, she said.
"If you don't have access to a truck or other kind of vehicle, it doesn't stop you being in the parade."
Parade entry was free for all groups this year.
"It can be quite expensive to close roads, so charging was a way to try to get extra money. But we've decided that it doesn't need to be that way."
Palmerston North's non-motorised parade led Feilding Promotion to poke fun at the idea when advertising its own parade, with one radio advertisement encouraging people to go to a "real" parade with "grunt".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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