Topic: Christmas Parades in Christchurch

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Santa or Christmas parades take place in Christchurch city and suburbs in November or December each year

Father Christmas at T. Armstrong & Co. premises  [ca. 1930]. CCL PhotoCD 16, IMG0053  Christmas parades have delighted local people since the early 20th Century. As Santa became a Christmas fixture at department stores, so did the parades they used to promote Santa's arrival and launch the Christmas shopping season. 

In the 1930s, T. J. Armstrong & Co had a Toyland inside their High Street shop and created floats for a parade to welcome Santa.

Other local stores such as D.I.C's and Beaths also held similar events. These events could be quite elaborate as the stores tried to attract custom -  Armstrong’s even had Santa arrive on an elephant during one parade. 

Christchurch's annual Santa Parade, which still runs today, was started in 1947 by Hays Department Store, and consisted of a few hand-drawn floats.

Mother Goose float, Hay's Ltd Christmas pageant, Christchurch.For the next 45 years - Hays, Haywrights and then Farmers department stores would run the parade but around 1991 Farmers pulled out because the parade had become too costly for them to run on their own.

By the late 1980s / early 1990s many of New Zealand's Christmas Parades were taken over by charitable trusts, with businesses buying  naming rights to individual floats and characters. Along with this change a broad range of community and voluntary groups also began participating alongside local businesses and traditional floats. The current Christchurch parade is run by the Christchurch Children's Christmas Parade Trust with backing from sponsors and council funding.

Superman float, 2007 Santa Parade

The route for the Santa parade ran through the street of the central city but since 2011 the parade has run along Riccarton Road from the corner of Wharenui and Riccarton Road, and ending on the corner of Mandeville Street, Riccarton.

 

 

New Brighton seaside market also runs an annual Christmas parade and concert for the New Brighton community.

 New Brighton Christmas Parade - 1 December 2012 #DSCF3583.   New Brighton Christmas Parade - 1 December 2012 #DSCF3567.   New Brighton Christmas Parade - 1 December 2012 #DSCF3568.   New Brighton Christmas Parade - 1 December 2012 #DSCF3591.   New Brighton Christmas Parade - 1 December 2012 #DSCF3597.   New Brighton Christmas Parade - 1 December 2012 #DSCF3650.   New Brighton Christmas Parade - 1 December 2012 #DSCF3633.

 

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