ADBT won't rain on parade

SARAH JARVIS
Last updated 05:00 09/08/2014

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Timaru's Christmas Parade will go ahead in spite of Aoraki Development, Business and Tourism (ADBT) not applying for funding to run the event.

In recent years ADBT has applied for the annual grant, facilitated the administration and then sub-contracted the organising of the parade to Timaru's St Joseph's School.

Timaru mayor Damon Odey said he had had a "frank" discussion with ADBT chief executive Wendy Smith early this week. "It can't be too onerous really [to apply], however ADBT don't see it as their role."

He said it was a great community event and as far as he was concerned it was "business as usual".

"I'm sure between the council and St Joseph's we will work it out."

Odey said news that ADBT was not applying for funding had caused his phone to ring, with local businesses offering their support. "Many people have contacted me and some local businesses have offered to get behind it."

He said he would be catching up with St Joseph's parade organisers soon to discuss different options.

"The annual grant of around $8000 is there; it's just a matter of how it will work going forward."

St Joseph's School parade manager Debra Still said planning for this year's parade was well under way.

"Santa will be there," she laughed.

She was confident the council would work through the logistics of ADBT not administering the grant.

"We haven't been told by anyone official we are not doing it, or it's not going ahead, so we are again grateful to be managing it."

Still said while ADBT oversaw the managing of the event, hundreds of volunteer hours were behind staging the parade.

"We have eight trust members and up to 20 people on the day, so while the ADBT did the money and administration side of things, we basically man it."

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- The Timaru Herald

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