A mailing list notice alerted us to the Santa Claus parade last November 16. The e-mail describes the parade as one of Wellington's oldest tradition, with the parade dating back to the 1960s and was originally named the James Smith Parade. The parade is organized by the council, with various companies getting naming rights sponsorship. This year it's Tip Top, an ice cream company (at least, that's where I always see their logo).
Apparently a collection is held during the parade for the benefit of Friends of Children in Hospital. It didn't pass us though.
We caught the train to get places at the head of the parade route (which is near the central station), but we arrived only a couple of minutes before it started and people were already pretty much settled on the sidewalks and across the street. The crowd isn't as huge as Baguio City's Flower Parade, but they make it up for height :-).
We didn't have to wait long before the parade started. I only had the iPhone with me , Jo-Lo was on my shoulder, and we were a couple of rows behind so pardon the paparrazi photos.
Thomas the Train
Storm Troopers! Jo-Lo excitedly called out "Star Wars!" when he saw these costumed dudes. Yeah, I'm training him on the ways of the Force.
Too bad this photo was way too dark. These four were dressed up as the GhostBusters!
Stephen King distorted my view of clowns.
Soon enough, Santa Claus and his reindeers arrived! And it signalled the end of the parade.
No sooner had the crowd dispersed when the clean-up crew arrived, removing the barricades, picking up the rubbish, and cleaning up the gutters. I was amazed. That's the taxes at work :-).
The celebration continued at the Civic Square, with a program that lasted for a couple of hours.