Sun shines on crowd at Santa parade
Hundreds of families flocked to Richmond to watch 40 trucks, floats, entertainers and marching groups wind their way down Queen St for the annual Pak'n Save Santa Parade.
Despite a weather forecast which included the odd shower, the parade finished in a blaze of sunshine yesterday before rain came late in the afternoon to hose away the tinsel.
Organiser Kim Quint said the parade was great, with an excellent variety of floats and a "great crowd".
"Santa's always the highlight, obviously, but there are some amazing floats out there," said Richmond Unlimited assistant Toni Lane.
Santa took questions from the crowd about what they wanted for Christmas before the top floats were announced. Gifts requested included a computer, a furby, some tadpoles and a unicorn, among other ideas.
Grace Church won the coveted "Best Float" spot with a float that comprised a large flat-bed truck and trailer carrying a live band and working barbecue, followed by two vintage cars. Their prize was an $800 Pak'n Save voucher.
Waverly Street Kindergarten scored the second prize of a $500 voucher, and Stoke Montessori won a $400 voucher for their pukeko-themed float. ITM and Scott Construction won a $300 voucher as fourth prize for their float, featuring mascot Tim Timber.
Parent Danella Field said her favourite part was seeing the creativity of all the different groups, while son James, 3, said the best bit was being on Stoke Montessori's truck.
Six-year-old Scarlett Lester said her favourite float was Richmond Boredom Busters because they blew bubbles, while friend Billie Edgley, 5, preferred the bagpipe group in Sundial Square.
"I like it. It's fun for the kids," said parent Maisie Lester.
Ambulance officer on duty Bronwyn Matthews said she advised cadets Paige Matthews and Ellie Ross to look out for sunstroke and dehydration during the parade, but team manager Gary Tobin said only one person sought medical attention.
He said they were treated at the scene and did not need to be hospitalised, describing it as a good result, considering the thousands who attended. "If you look at the number of people who were there, that's about as close to zero as you can get without it actually being zero," said Mr Tobin.
The Nelson Mail