Parade organisers sidestep Covid to deliver festive highlight

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Organisers of the Farmers’ Santa Parade in Auckland today are expecting about 200,000 people to line the streets.

(file pic) Photo: Topic Images Ltd / Hannah Rolfe

It’s expected to be one of the few Santa parades in the world this year, with many other countries still in various stages of Covid-19 restrictions.

Organiser Pam Glaser said there were times this year when it seemed it might not happen, because of Covid-19, and different plans kept being made.

She said the event is a little smaller than normal but still has the main attractions for people to enjoy.

“What we don’t have are the multiple inflatables from overseas and we haven’t got the licensed character costumes that usually come from Australia.

“But other than that we’re pretty much intact and it’s going to be fabulous.”

Glaser said attendees need to remember to scan in, using the official Covid tracer app.

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Inner-city streets will be be closed from 11am and the parade will leave the Aotea Centre at 1pm.

One traditional Christmas attraction in the Auckland CBD will be missing this year.

The five-tonne, 18m-tall Christmas decoration, which spent 60 years encouraging Aucklanders to shop, arrived safely this week at Wanaka’s National Transport and Toy Museum.

Its new owners intend assessing the Santa after Christmas and fibreglass repairs will be done over the summer before it goes on display at the museum.

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