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Having been piped along Queen St by members of the Waimate Highland Pipe Band, while being driven in a little red open-top car, a lolly-throwing Santa was met at Seddon Square by Lieutenant Lou - not your usual police officer - and escorted to Santa's Grotto.
Lieutenant Lou - also known as Louise Kerr - is a clown police officer who rides a miniature police cycle, complete with flashing lights and sirens.
Her brother downsized a 10-speed cycle to create it.
Ms Kerr studied circus and performance at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, where she completed a diploma in circus arts.
She is now in her first year as a full-time clown, working all over the South Island.
She was previously a teacher but laughed that she spent most of her time trying to entertain the children, rather than teach them.
Seddon Square and adjacent Bolland Park were packed with 250 stalls selling everything from clothing to candyfloss.
Waimate's famed strawberries were in demand, with grower Ivan Rhodes, of the Waimate Berry Barn, saying hot and dry weather had proved excellent for the fruit.
Wet weather just before Strawberry Fare had been a bit of a problem but "we always manage to come up with the goods".