The tinsel is coming to town.
Dunedin is gearing up for the festive season, with the
traditional Christmas tree installed in the lower Octagon
The 10.5m Christmas tree is the tallest in the South Island
and will be laden with 20 boxes of decorations and then
topped off with 20,000 Christmas lights.
The lights will be switched on for the first time between 8pm
and 9pm on Saturday, accompanied by choral singing by
Elmgrove School pupils and the Congregational Christian
Church of Samoa.
On Sunday, the annual Dunedin Santa Parade will weave its
magic through town in a procession of 80 colourful floats.
Parade trust chairman Dean Driver said he hoped many
thousands of people would line George St for the parade,
which would start at the BP service station in George St at
3pm and head to the Octagon.
"It just continues to get bigger and bigger. There were well
over 40,000 last year and, with two cruise ships in town,
we're expecting this will be the biggest parade we've had
yet," he said yesterday.
The Voyager of the Seas cruise ship will be
in Port Chalmers on Saturday.
Buses used to ferry the cruise-ship passengers will relocate
to Cumberland St, outside Countdown, for the day.
"Hopefully, some of the cruise-ship passengers will stick
around for a while and enjoy the parade," Dunedin City
Council community events co-ordinator Marilyn Anderson said
"For a short time, the parade attracts the biggest crowd we
get for a community event in Dunedin. We've got all the
street garlands going up this week ready for the weekend."
The last float of the Santa Parade will feature the Oxo
Cubans, who will park their float in the Octagon carriageway
and put on a Christmas concert.
Any postponement will be broadcast on Classic Hits 89.4 and
More FM 97.4.