Motueka's Christmas parade began with skydivers flying into the middle of town and ended with the jolly fat man who flew in from the North Pole.
In between were 40 entries in the New World Motueka Starlight Christmas Parade ranging from a splatter of Dalmatians courtesy of the SPCA, to Santa's workshop,a helicopter, mini digger and digger hauled on the back of trucks.
But it was the energy of the pop hit Gangnam Style that got the crowd pumping, as about 50 dancers from Lynne Painter's Zumba classes gyrated their way down High St. The dance craze showed up on the Huia sports club's float too, with staunch 8-year-old rugby players breaking loose to show their pony moves.
The energy, enthusiasm and crowd entertainment of the Zumba dancers won the group the award for the best business entry, said one of the judges, West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor.
He also commended the business entries from Nelson Aviation College, whose student pilots were "flying" a cardboard biplane and tri-plane as they led a Robinson R22 two-seater helicopter on the back of truck, and Concrete and Metals, whose diggers were landscaping a playground scene on the back of a large truck.
The parade is underwritten by the Motueka Events Charitable Trust and produced by Our Town Motueka. Parade co-ordinator Lori Keller said entries were up 20 per cent on last year, although she thought crowd numbers may have been down slightly.
She was pleased that the crowd had a good time and the weather stayed fine, despite a few raindrops just before the parade.
She thanked everybody for their support and said she looked forward to "creating a bigger and better event next year".
As the large crowd dispersed at the end of the 45-minute parade, Stacey Win said her family enjoyed the Zumba group the most, with her 7-year-old daughter Hannah and 3-year-old son Marcus joining in with Gangnam Style from the pavement.
Other category winners were the Motueka Rudolf Steiner School for best school entry; Riwaka Cubs and Kea Scouts for best community group; the Polak family and friends' Marvel Avengers for best family float and the Montessori Horizons Preschool's Santa's workshop for best Christmas theme.
- The Nelson Mail
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