Santa to star in Hamilton's Christmas Parade and he's bringing lots of friends

Santa and his reindeer are back in Hamilton next Sunday for the annual Christmas Parade.
FAIRFAX NZ

Santa and his reindeer are back in Hamilton next Sunday for the annual Christmas Parade.

Minions, Princess Elsa, Clifford the Big Red Dog and, of course, Santa himself, will be strutting the streets of Hamilton in the Christmas Parade.

Around 80 floats will  take part in the parade along Anglesea St, starting at 3pm on December 11.

Event manager for the Hamilton Christmas Charitable Trust Karen Watkins said they've had a huge amount of interest this year.

Workers are setting up the 27-metre-high Christmas Tree at Garden Place, with a brand new set of Christmas lights.
TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ

Workers are setting up the 27-metre-high Christmas Tree at Garden Place, with a brand new set of Christmas lights.

"We've got private floats, businesses, dancing groups, Christmas trees walking, a pirate ship and a big canon firing confetti."

READ MORE:
* The where and when of Waikato Christmas Parades 2016

Santa and his sleigh, homeless in Hamilton

She said all they can do now is pray for fine weather.

"If it's raining heavily, that's not good for us. So fingers, toes, everything crossed the weather is fine."

The trust provides three Christmas events each year – the parade, the lighting of the Christmas tree and Carols by Candlelight. 

"Christmas can be quite a stressful time, and an expensive time. So our free events are a good chance for families to come along and really enjoy themselves." 

Next Saturday night, the 27-metre-high Christmas tree at Garden Place will be lit with a brand new set of lights.

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The lights, approximately 10,000 of them, are now computer operated.

"They are going to blow your mind. We are now able to get the lights to change colour, patterns, run shapes through them," Watkins said. "The tree will become alive."

Volunteers and contractors have been busy installing the framing, tree branches, lighting and decor.

The tree will be lit at 9pm by a lucky chosen child and Hamilton Mayor Andrew King.

The event will start at 7pm with a Christmas concert in Garden Place, and a visit from Santa.

There will also be a big Santa mailbox where children can post their letters to Santa, and a Christmas sleigh positioned in front of the tree for pictures.

"The trust was created to provide free community Christmas events for families and young children," Watkins said. 

"We use the events as an opportunity for children to have fun, join in and get into the Christmas spirit."

 - Stuff

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