Here he comes, there he goes

Just like Christmas, the Dunedin Santa Parade approached fast yesterday afternoon.

Cheyenne Rosie (12) urged her mother to hurry because she was worried they would miss the start.

Slideshow: Santa Claus comes to town 

She was right to be concerned, because the parade started on time. It finished half-an-hour later.

The crowd sat low on the kerb and high in shop windows on George St watching the 78 parade entries whizz by.

The Dunedin Santa Parade makes its way down George St yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Dunedin Santa Parade makes its way down George St yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The speed had the seven dwarfs holding on to the chins of their oversized heads, making made them appear quizzical.

Parade watcher Janene Moss (47) said she was surprised the parade was over so fast, "especially since the weather held out".

She had attended the parade for the past 19 years and while yesterday's featured a similar number of floats to previous years, she reckoned the floats zipped past in half the time yesterday.

However, some didn't mind the pace. Craig Fleming (45), of Dunedin, said he had watched from the same spot on George St for the past seven years and yesterday was the best because it began on time and was short.

However, his son, Seth (9), said he was disappointed the seal float did not squirt the crowd with water, because getting hit last year was a highlight.

Mark Glover (36) said the parade was quick, smooth and "brilliant". In past years, big gaps between floats had made the parade boring, he said.

His sister, Becky Glover (23), said she had been on floats in six parades and it was hard waving to the same section of crowd when your float stopped, so a fast-moving parade was "fantastic".

Isaac Garchow (3) could not understand why his mother chose to take a photo of him on his father's shoulders, rather than watch the parade.

"Look behind you, Mum," he yelled.

Dunedin Santa Parade Trust chairman Dean Driver said organisers were conscious of keeping the parade rolling because they wanted to beat the forecast thunder and lightning.

A lack of breakdowns also helped.

The 25,000 cardboard antlers handed out to the crowd was an indicator of the crowd size, which was bolstered by the two cruise ships being in Dunedin yesterday, he said.

 The Octagon Christmas Tree was officially lit on Saturday night.


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