Hundreds of people thronged the main street of Riverton to watch the town’s 60th annual Christmas parade last night.
The dark clouds threatened rain but it stayed away. Many people made their way to Palmerston St early to find a good viewing spot to watch and — much to their delight — the sun came out and reminded for the entire parade.
Organiser Raewyn Black said a lot of hard work went into the parade but when those involved saw how jovial and happy the crowd were, they were paid in full.
‘‘It’s always magical having a Christmas parade on Christmas Eve.’’
The street was lined with giddy smiling children - some in buggies, holding hands with parents or on their shoulders to catch a better glimpse of Santa.
Children were treated to lollies and balloons by the Riverton Lions Club as they waited for the action to start.
Cars with occupants enjoying fish and chips were also parked along the street as they waited on the fun to begin.
Pub goers even stepped outside to guzzle their beer as the parade went by.
No one was disappointed by the colourful floats representing various aspects of the community, trucks, tractors, farm machinery, lorries, elves on scooters, giant dogs, and a homage to Nelson Mandela.
Martha, 3 and Georgia, 2 Eade sat mesmerized in their pushchairs as parents Frances and Geordie looked on.
Caitlin Steel was captivated by the sirens of a fire truck while in the arms of her dad, Gareth Steel.
Glen Murphy, who moved with his family to Riverton from Auckland five months ago, said the parade was fantastic.
‘‘This is a great little town.’’
Rosemary Thomson from Riverton was watching over her great grandchildren from Australia and Seaward Downs as the parade passed by.
‘‘They just love it,’’ she said.
The Southland Times