Santa sleighs it as the tills ring

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 16/12/2013
santa tdn
ANDY JACKSON/FAIRFAX NZ
MAN IN RED: The star of Hawera’s Christmas Street Festival and Parade waves to the 3500-strong crowd who turned up to Saturday’s event

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Sleigh bells and shopping tills were ringing following another successful Christmas festival in Hawera on Saturday.

The event, in its third year, attracted a crowd of about 3500 people for six hours of food and entertainment, capped off by a parade, where everyone got their chance to catch a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer.

The UCOL music school, Patea Maori Club and dance group the Modern Jivers were included in the entertainment line-up along with a range of High St stalls to tempt shoppers.

Even a dose of Disneyland made its way to Hawera, with children and adults alike getting a chance to pose with Minnie and Mickey Mouse.

New Plymouth's Tai Fennell was especially impressed by the bagpipes in the parade.

"It was really cool," he said

When asked what he wanted for Christmas, Tai's answer would have been music to any parent's ears. "Anything really," the 9-year-old said.

Long-time Hawera resident Annette Chatterton said she really enjoyed the atmosphere of the festival and came along every year.

"The highlight for me was the Patea Maori Club," she said.

Bizlink co-ordinator Rangi Coleman said he was "ecstatic" with the turnout this year.

"It just gets better and better," he said.

The festival attracted shoppers to town, which provided businesses with a welcome sales boost leading up to Christmas.

The festivities also gave businesses a way to say thanks to the Hawera people.

"But of course, Santa is always the main attraction," said Mr Coleman.

Parades were also held in Eltham, Inglewood and Waitara on Saturday and in Okaiawa last night.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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