One big, fun day for all

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 07:36 05/12/2013
Christmas
Emma Allen

Caption: Marlborough 4 Fun and Blenheim Lions are combining their pre-Christmas festivities this year with the Mistletoe Market and Christmas Parade followed by the Cracker Christmas Festival. Pictured getting into the spirit of the event are from left Dean Heiford, the Marlborough District Council support services manager, Katrina Lange and Lauren Haward from Marlborough 4 Fun, Charles Riley from Blenheim Lions, Keita McCormick from Marl 4 Fun and Don Kelly from Blenheim Lions

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Derek Flynn Zoom
The big guy himself, Father Christmas

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Christmas festivities will be in full swing in Blenheim's town centre on Saturday, when for the first time, the annual Christmas Parade and festival will be held in conjunction with the yearly Mistletoe Market.

Organisers Marlborough 4 Fun and Blenheim Lions, who coordinate the Mistletoe Market, have teamed up to combine the events to create a feeling of vibrancy and excitement.

"We wanted to have one day to get the town alive and excited," Marlborough 4 Fun chief executive officer Katrina Lange said.

"It also means something for everyone, for the kids, families, and retailers who will benefit from the extra people in town."

The format for the Marlborough Lines Christmas Parade and Christmas Cracker Festival is the same as previous years. However, everything is an hour later and the festival is being held at Liz Davidson Park, Queen St, instead of the forum.

The Mistletoe Market has been held on the first Saturday of December since 1977, and will be on in town from 8.45am to 1.30pm.

Co-convenor Charles Riley said that while the construction site on Wynen St meant they had lost 12 sites, they still had more than 120 stalls, most of which are from Marlborough.

Collaborating with Marlborough 4 Fun gave people more options about what to do, Mr Riley said.

"It will be one big, fun family day out for the kids and the family."

This year, Marlborough businesses and organisations had entered 30 floats - and counting - for the parade, Ms Lange said.

Fun floats, bands, walking groups and Santa Claus himself will be among the throng.

The pre-parade begins at 2pm at Liz Davidson Park. The Christmas Parade will begin at 3pm from Blenheim School and runs for about an hour. The parade loop will go down Alfred St, then onto Seymour, High and Queen Sts, onto Maxwell Rd, down Market St and back to Blenheim School.

At 4pm, an afternoon of family fun begins with the festival back at Liz Davidson Park. Entertainment features Marlborough Girls' College student and singer Emma Logan and singing trio Avi Diva.

Free parking for the events will be available in council car parks, kerbside parks and the Alfred St parking building all day on Saturday.

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- The Marlborough Express

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