Culture, Kids

Want something fun – and free – with the family? See you at Farmers Santa Parade!

Of all the great things about Christmas time, one of the best has to be spending time with family. Want something fun – and free – to celebrate Christmas with the family, and a whole lot of other families, in the greater community? You can’t go past the Farmers Santa Parade, now in its 83rd year.

There’s a new route and a new time 

The classic parade for generations of children and adults is back again bigger and better, but this year you need to note it is at 1pm, and has a new route.

Due to City Rail Link roadworks in Albert Street, this year the parade goes down Queen Street then has a right turn into Customs Street East at the harbour end of Queen Street, then ending by Britomart Place. So, if you would normally watch the parade from Albert Street, this year move to Customs St East.

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Let’s make a date 

The Farmers Santa Parade is on Sunday 27 November 2016 at 1pm with a rain date of 4 December. It starts at 1pm at the corner of Cook Street and Mayoral Drive, and goes left into Queen Street, down Queen Street, right in to Customs St East, ending at the corner of Britomart Place. All inner city roads are closed between 11am and 4pm on Sunday 27th November 2016.

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Supporting the Sallies 

There’s a fabulous new charity to support this year – The Salvation Army, supporting the organisation’s fight against poverty in New Zealand. I feel this is particularly apt as at events such as this, we do see the entire community from all works of life coming together, and it’s a rare glimpse to see everyone having fun together at a free event that doesn’t involve expensive tickets, like many family attractions do these days. The Sallies will be helping those less fortunate which is always particularly important at Christmas time so give generously if you can. And of course, The Salvation Army brass band is a popular and integral part of the annual parade.

Whatever floats your boat

The parade floats will run the gamut of variety, from traditional to trendy; classic to contemporary. This year the kids will enjoy Disney’s Mickey and Minnie inflatables, three Angry Birds helium inflatables from Canada, an Olympics float, LEGO character Clay from Nexo Knights, Austin Powers, and a Cinderella float.

Santa’s after party 

But wait- there’s more. After the parade head up to Aotea Square for the after party beginning at 2:30pm. The live stage show will also feature Santa in attendance, as well as rides, celebrities, face painting and the Aotea Square LEGO Christmas Tree.

Free parking

As is the norm, it’s easy to get to and from the parade with free parking on the day for vehicles parked before 11am and exited by 6pm at Auckland Transport Downtown and Victoria Street car parks.

Public transport

Why not leave the car at home, and catch a bus, train, or ferry into town? Timetables and fares are online at www.at.govt.nz or phone on 09 366 6400.

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Find it on social media

Follow the action and see everybody’s photos at the hashtags #FarmersSantaParade and their Instagram account, @farmersantaparade. For more information see their website at www.santaparade.co.nz

I hope to see you there! Let’s get a selfie with Santa :)

Megan Robinson
14th November 2016

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