Parade and sunshine prove it's really Christmas now
Christmas spirit met summer spirit as the sun beat down on about 25,000 people who soaked up Hamilton's Santa Parade yesterday.
Thousands kept to the shadows of buildings, umbrellas and even other people, as parade manager Hamish Nathan was appreciative that the "weather gods shined down on us".
"The guys in the character costumes were absolutely melting, but we managed to keep them going. The crowd was having a great time, the dancers and marching teams involved were having a good time, and there were lots and lots of kids out. It was really good," he said.
The kids watched in awe as colourful streamers rained down, cheerleaders flew through the air and giant cartoon figures waved down at them.
Roger and Kirsten Pennell, like many others, brought fold-up chairs and got a highly coveted spot in the shade with their boys, Corban, 4, and Brody, 2, who were still buzzing with excitement after the parade.
"It was just astounding," Mr Pennell said. "It seemed to go a bit quicker than last year, but it was really great stuff."
The parade was short of a few floats this year, but by the time the big man's sleigh was towed past by a tractor, the crowd had seen more than 80 floats.
When asked to pick a favourite, Corban threw up his hands and said "everything, it was all really cool".
"It's really Christmas now," one little girl said as she left with her family.