Farmers Santa Parade Brought The Magic Back To 2020
Despite the rain, spirits weren’t dampened today as Aucklanders came out to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at the Farmers Santa Parade.
Led by Hilary Barry dressed in a super-cute festive costume, the large-scale event was one of the only Christmas parades worldwide that was able to go ahead. The participants, volunteers and members of the public in attendance valued this wonderful Christmas gift that truly lifted spirits.
Alongside the familiar parade favourites was this year’s special celebrity guest Peppa Pig. A rockstar in the world of kids’ entertainment this 32ft inflatable towered above the cheering crowds. It’s the first time that kiwis have seen the giant Peppa, as she’s usually booked out solid touring America.
Other highlights included Fijian and Tahitian dancers, Disney Inflatables, North Pole Express Float and the ever-popular traditional marching bands. Kids went wild when the star of the show – Santa closed the parade in his upgraded float painted with the islands of Aotearoa.
The fun continued into the afternoon with Santa’s Party in Aotea Square. Mike Puru hosted the action that drew a lively crowd eager to experience some outstanding performances and to catch a final glimpse of Santa before he left for the North Pole.
Now in its 87th year, the Farmers Santa Parade continues to be a treasured event in Auckland’s Christmas calendar and is the largest of its kind in New Zealand. It is brought to life for one magical day by 4,000 passionate volunteers. These unpaid heroes include performers, make-up artists, choreographers, sound engineers, safety officers, drivers, designers and of course the mums and dads!
Kids at Starship who were unable to attend also got a delivery of Christmas cheer as Santa made a special appearance at 9.30am on parade day. With Covid restrictions in place last year’s mini celebration in the Atrium was traded for a one on one Santa visit at the wards, handing out some early pressies from Farmers.
“This year, more than ever the Santa Parade provided a joyous celebration that focused on bringing families and communities together for Christmas” — Michael Barnett, Chair of the Farmers Santa Parade Trust