Santa draws crowds to parade

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 07:56 17/12/2012
tdn santa stand
ANDY JACKSON
Santa waves to the crowd at the Hawera Christmas street festival and parade.

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Thousands of people flocked to Hawera's town square on Saturday for the annual Christmas street festival and parade.

Festival organiser Rangi Coleman estimated up to 4000 people turned out to see the parade, featuring the jolly fat man, and enjoy the carnival atmosphere in Hawera's CBD.

"That's an absolutely fantastic result," Mr Coleman said.

The parade attracted 33 floats in total - three times as many as last year, he said.

There were also 30-odd stalls selling goods ranging from candy floss to transferable tattoos.

Coleman said he was given the responsibility of organising the event about five weeks ago.

"The community and the businesses have really come on board and supported it really, really well and that's what I put the success down to."

This was the second year Hawera's business association Biz Link had hosted the event, he said.

"We're trying to build on the momentum from the predecessors of previous years."

The goal of the day was to not only put on a great show for families but to draw people into the town centre to help boost Christmas business trade, Mr Coleman said.

"The event is the hook for getting people into town."

Event volunteer and traffic management man Royden Collingwood said the street festival and parade went off without a hitch.

"The mood of the day was awesome," Mr Collingwood said.

And the weather really turned it on "as Hawera always does", he said.

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