The festive season welcomed


Santa Claus atop his sleigh was the highlight for those attending the Kaiapoi Toyota Santa Parade and Carnival last Saturday.

A large crowd filled Williams Street in Kaiapoi as 70 floats, cars — classic and modern — large trucks, fire engines, bands, gymnasts, schools and volunteer groups, plus the Grinch, Marvel characters, street entertainers and Pokemon all paraded before Santa himself made his appearance.

The Lions Foundation Kaiapoi Christmas Carnival and the Wilsons Traffic Management Kaiapoi Street Market held before the parade were packed with shoppers and children as families sought to find some early Christmas presents.

Kaiapoi Promotions Association (KPA) chairperson Janine Duke says the parade was very exciting to be part of.

‘‘We had such a wonderful day, it is good to see the parade and carnival getting bigger and better every year.

‘‘This year it again drew a large crowd of visitors to Kaiapoi.

‘‘I can’t even put a number on just how many attended, so one of our goals for next year is to figure out how to record just how many people attend the carnival and parade.’’

The man of the moment Santa arrives on his sleigh during the Kaiapoi Toyota Santa Parade. PHOTO:...
The man of the moment Santa arrives on his sleigh during the Kaiapoi Toyota Santa Parade. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
To achieve this, she says they are considering commissioning a survey to see how many, why and where are people coming from.

‘‘Overall I’m very pleased with how the carnival and parade went.

‘‘It was due to a great number of people helping us out, and all those entering the parade.

‘‘Everyone seems to appear at the right time to help us out, which we are very grateful for.’’

She says it has been very encouraging to hear all the positive comments about the parade and carnival.

‘‘We had an amazing amount of positive responses from families about the new McAlpines Mitre 10 Mega Family Fun Zone."

She says they received many comments from parents saying how it was such good value for their children spending just $5 to play all day on the games, bouncy castles, pony rides and pedalmania attractions.

‘‘I have to thank the sponsors, the schools, all the businesses and individuals who took part and made it the highlight of the whole carnival.’’

KPA event coordinator Tracy Inwood said she loved the carnival and parade.

‘‘It was an amazing event. I’m lost for words, as the parade was phenomenal.’’