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Waimakariri Community Updates

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From farm animals to floats - Kaiapoi’s Christmas spirit returns to Williams Street once again!

On Saturday 5 December at 1:30pm, thousands will gather to watch 60+ Christmas floats parade down Williams Street.

Going back 130 years ago, these floats looked, sounded and smelt a little different, but not in the way you would expect.

According to Event Manager Tracy Inwood, the Kaiapoi Santa Parade started with the former mayor of Kaiapoi parading his sheep and cattle down Williams Street all dressed up in Santa hats and tinsel for Christmas!

This year’s Santa Parade will mark the first year the floats will go over the Kaiapoi bridge since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Tracy says it will be a very special moment.

This year’s parade will feature a variety of colourful, fun, Christmas themed floats from community groups with some recognisable characters such as Harold the Giraffe, Darth Vader, the Grinch and not to forget the ol’ jolly chap himself, Santa!

Last year the Waimakiriri District Council Deputy Mayor, Neville Aitkenson said the Kaiapoi Santa Parade was the best parade he had ever seen.
Leading up to the highly-anticipated Santa Parade, Williams Street will be closed off to traffic from 9:30, hosting some street performers and buskers and 20 local community group stalls.

To the east of the KPA Street Market, the green between Hilton Street and Raven Quay will magically transform into a Christmas Carnival, where you will find the KATS Show and Shine motor vehicle display, entertainers on the main stage and another 70 market stalls and 18 food stalls including cherries, arts and crafts to help with your Christmas shopping. 

The Free Family Fun Zone will return to the Carnival with Pedal Mania and new additions including InflataRun, pony rides and a petting zoo.

Tracy says the most rewarding part about putting together the event is seeing how everyone is able to enjoy a free community day in Kaiapoi.

“We understand that families don’t have a lot of money, especially since it’s been a bit tougher this year with Covid, so we have the kids being able to go nuts all day at no cost. You work really hard all year to put this event together and it’s just a rewarding thing seeing the delight on the kids’ faces across the day and people enjoying a true community day that is the heart of Kaiapoi.”

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