Parade and sunshine prove it's really Christmas now

19:20, Dec 09 2012
Tens of thousands line Anglesea St as the parade’s 83 floats pass through.
Tens of thousands line Anglesea St as the parade’s 83 floats pass through.
Tens of thousands line Anglesea St as the parade’s 83 floats pass through.
STREET PARTY: Tens of thousands line Anglesea St as the parade’s 83 floats pass through.
Tens of thousands line Anglesea St as the parade’s 83 floats pass through.
STREET PARTY: Tens of thousands line Anglesea St as the parade’s 83 floats pass through.
OLD TALE: One of the groups focusing on ‘‘the reason for the season’’ portray characters from the nativity story.
OLD TALE: One of the groups focusing on ‘‘the reason for the season’’ portray characters from the nativity story.
DRAGON DANCE: Members of Hamilton’s Chinese Community danced down the street with dragons and lions.
DRAGON DANCE: Members of Hamilton’s Chinese Community danced down the street with dragons and lions.
MINI MARCHERS: The girls from Drury Lane Dance Studio take the limelight.
MINI MARCHERS: The girls from Drury Lane Dance Studio take the limelight.
ON TAP: A group of Santa-esque dancers take the lead, kicking off the parade in style.
ON TAP: A group of Santa-esque dancers take the lead, kicking off the parade in style.
MONKEY MIX: The Funky Monkeys create giant bubbles for the kids on the way past.
MONKEY MIX: The Funky Monkeys create giant bubbles for the kids on the way past.
MONKEY MIX: The Funky Monkeys create giant bubbles for the kids on the way past.
MONKEY MIX: The Funky Monkeys create giant bubbles for the kids on the way past.
BRO-SHAKE: A young spectator makes an unlikely new friend at the parade.
BRO-SHAKE: A young spectator makes an unlikely new friend at the parade.
The kids watched in awe as colourful streamers rained down, cheerleaders flew through the air and giant cartoon figures waved down at them.
The kids watched in awe as colourful streamers rained down, cheerleaders flew through the air and giant cartoon figures waved down at them.
The kids watched in awe as colourful streamers rained down, cheerleaders flew through the air and giant cartoon figures waved down at them.
The kids watched in awe as colourful streamers rained down, cheerleaders flew through the air and giant cartoon figures waved down at them.
Marty Hollah and Marcel Cummings joined the parade on the Waikato Rugby float.
Marty Hollah and Marcel Cummings joined the parade on the Waikato Rugby float.

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.

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