All the fun of a Christmas parade

HARRY PEARL
Last updated 05:00 09/12/2013
Hamilton Santa parade

SO MUCH TO SEE: Between 200 and 300 walking performers and 84 floats featured in the Hamilton Christmas Parade this year.

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Hamilton was awash in colour and Christmas cheer as thousands of people turned out for the city's Christmas Parade.

Santa hats and reindeer ears were ubiquitous as about 25,000 people lined Anglesea St to get a glimpse of the marching girls, life-sized cartoon characters and parade floats.

Despite dark clouds and the occasional drop of rain threatening to spoil the event, the weather held out until the end of yesterday's parade.

Event organiser Karen Watkins said the weather was "very kind" and all the characters and performers were a hit.

"A lot of people were saying it's one of the best parades we've had in the past two or three years. But each year is different."

She said there were 84 floats and between 200 to 300 walking performers as well as performers in character outfits.

Among the groups were representatives of the Waikato Chinese community, clowns on stilts, and a mobile nativity scene.

Members of the Hamilton Square Dance Club were one group with a float.

Perched onboard the club's candy cane-themed display, president Russell Pratt said it was the group's third year at the parade.

"It's an opportunity for us to wish everyone a happy Christmas and get our name out there," he said.

Further along the road, Bob Clarke and his wife were seated on fold-out chairs on the pavement opposite Repco.

"We haven't been for years. It's just as enjoyable as when we brought the kids," Mr Clarke said.

Sushma Knedler, who was with her mum and sister who were visiting from Mumbai, said she did not expect to see so many people.

"It's been great. My mum and sister came from India and they're absolutely enjoying it."

harry.pearl@waikatotimes.co.nz

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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