Big crowds watch Gore Christmas parade

TERRI RUSSELL
Last updated 11:24 17/12/2012
Gore Santa Parade 2012
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
Action from the Gore Santa Parade 2012 on Sunday.

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Gore was bustling yesterday as hundreds of people lined the main street for the Gore Santa Parade - a turnout that made the event the biggest the town has seen.

More than 40 floats toured the main street including those of businesses, organisations and schools. Santa's helpers were busy giving children gifts and sweets as Christmas carols poured from some of the floats.

After the parade, crowds flocked to the Gore Gardens for the Christmas in the Park Concert. The park was packed with families who took the opportunity to take a picnic and enjoy some music. There was plenty of entertainment for the children including a bouncy castle and bungy.

Former Gore residents Kayla Mahon and Taylor Cairns, of the band The Heartleys, were among those who performed at the concert.

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks said the event was great for the community and the size of the crowd was "up there". "It seems to be growing each year.

"I think people look forward to it now - it sets the scene for Christmas," he said.

Council human resources and administration manager Susan Jones said she was thrilled with the number of people at the parade and the concert.

"There were loads of people and a beautiful day, it's great to see all the children," she said.

Gore resident Phillippa Campbell said the parade was amazing and had attracted a bigger crowd than last year.

"The sun is shining; it's great to see so many people. Everyone comes and I don't think a lot of towns can say that," she said.

Sam Shaw, 11, said the parade was really entertaining and the motorbikes were his favourite.

Brylea Eaves, 8, took home a prize for her Christmas outfit and best decorated bike.

Ewan Allan Honda won a prize for the best commercial float and Elsie Street Kindergarten won the best non-commercial float. Harley-Davidson Iron Horse Chopper won the best presented motorcycle, and the 1957 Chevrolet and Model T both won the best presented car.

A children's colouring competition, with more than 100 entries, will be judged today to wrap up the council's Christmas festivities.

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- The Southland Times

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