Santa parade brings out excitement

Pyper Brown was thrilled to see Santa Claus during the Southland Christmas Parade. PHOTOS: LUISA...
Pyper Brown was thrilled to see Santa Claus during the Southland Christmas Parade. PHOTOS: LUISA GIRAO
The Wilkie family (from left) Aaron (3), Kari (6), Hannah (4), Daniel and Sharon Wilkes with Evan...
The Wilkie family (from left) Aaron (3), Kari (6), Hannah (4), Daniel and Sharon Wilkes with Evan (1) on their nativity-themed float.
Nicole and Mackenzie (2) Kyle showed their Christmas spirit.
Nicole and Mackenzie (2) Kyle showed their Christmas spirit.
Brooke Hawker-Fennelly (14, left), Holly (13, centre) and Lucy (9) Keen with their pet goats...
Brooke Hawker-Fennelly (14, left), Holly (13, centre) and Lucy (9) Keen with their pet goats Mazie and Millie.

This weekend was special for 3-year-old Pyper Brown.

The Invercargill youngster could not hide her excitement at seeing Santa Claus during the Southland Christmas Parade.

Her mother, Gemma Emerson, said her daughter was enjoying the seasonal spirit.

"Last year, she was very young so I think it is the first time she is understanding what Christmas really is. She is loving every single bit.

"She wrote a letter and asked me to come early to the parade to not miss the Santa."

She and Pyper were among the 20,000 people who attended the Southland Christmas Parade on Saturday.

About 60 floats and entertainers brought smiles to young and old as the parade moved through the inner city.

Lots of Christmas costumes, Santa hats and tinsel could be spotted, as people sat to enjoy the show.

The parade started at 2pm and lasted about an hour and travelled from the corner of Gala and Kelvin Sts, along Gala St and down Dee St to Tay St then back up Kelvin St to where it all began.

Southland Christmas Parade Charitable Trust organiser Alice Pottinger was delighted with the support of the community and businesses across the region following a challenging year due to Covid-19.

"We are quite lucky down here. Many events around the country were cancelled but with the support of our community, we were able to put together this amazing event.

"It is great to see the smiles."

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