Few hands make fun for all

Dunedin Santa Parade Trust chairman Mark Laughton (left) and trustee Peter Price are counting...
Dunedin Santa Parade Trust chairman Mark Laughton (left) and trustee Peter Price are counting down to the big event at the start of December. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Only fifteen more sleeps remain until Dunedin’s  20th annual Santa Parade.

Santa Parade Trust chairman Mark Laughton said it was "pretty amazing" to have run the parade for 20 years with only a small team of helpers.

The crew which organised the event comprised  only six people, although more would be  involved on the big day, Sunday, December 3.

Mr Laughton was in "Santa Parade mode on and off" from June 1,  when the trust first met to start planning for the end-of-year event.

It relied heavily on support from community trusts, the Dunedin City Council and several local businesses who had supported it from the beginning.

There was enough space for up to 80 floats in the parade, which included  35 owned by the trust itself.

"There’s lots of music, lots of dances and clowns and all the usual."

There was a limit to what could be done in a Santa Parade but there was always something new every year.

"It’s providing fantastic entertainment for the public."

For Mr Laughton, the Santa Parade marks the arrival of Christmas in Dunedin.

Mr Laughton said he was the "last idiot left" from the original trust members.

"Without the help of the members on the trust, I just couldn’t do it. It’s a tremendous amount of work."

The trust met for the final time on Thursday and still had some "loose ends to tie up" but it was pretty much all set to go.

"Now it’s just covering off last-minute things."

Safety was paramount for the event, Mr Laughton said.

The annual event was always held in the first Sunday of December and this year would be no different.

It started at 3pm, but  people often lined the streets early just so they could get a good spot, Mr Laughton said.

samuel.white@odt.co.nz

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