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LatinBeat: From Cuba St to the North Pole

Dec 7th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Most Popular, News

THE LATIN beat continues in Wellington this Christmas as a themed nativity float brings the Cuba Street carnival feel to Lambton Quay for the city’s 64th Santa Parade.

The LatinBeat group is well known for its performances in the Cuba Street carnival, and is continuing to spice up the streets by participating in the event.

One of our members suggested we put a Latin American themed float in the Christmas parade says club treasurer Dama Black.

“We’ve tried to get every single South American and Central American country represented.”

There will be up to 15 children on the float, which features a Latin American Mary, Joseph, a star, a shepherd and baby Jesus, as well as the animals, she says.

The Latin American flavour is enhanced by dancers performing alongside the float wearing national costumes.

LatinBeat describes itself as: “a non-profit, totally voluntary community organisation committed to promoting and enjoying the fun of Latin-inspired dance, music and culture in Wellington.”

The Latin-American presence is growing in New Zealand. In the 2006 census 6,657 people identified themselves as Latin American.

Wellington is also home to five Latin American embassies as well as the Latin Quarter.

The LatinBeat group has performed in the Cuba Street Carnival since its inception.

Ms Black said there are lots of rumours floating around about the Cuba Street Carnival at the moment and is not sure if it will be reinventing itself.

Alongside LatinBeat there will be a total of about 80 groups participating in the Christmas parade this year.

Some of the floats to keep an eye out for are the Egyptian, Circus, Treasure Island, Christmas Toy, Spaceship and Buzzy Bee, as well as the big guy and his reindeer.

The parade starts at the corner of Balance Street and Lambton Quay at 2pm on Sunday 9 December and continues down Lambton Quay to Willis Street.

It turns onto Mercer Street, Victoria Street and down Manners Mall ending at the corner of Manners and Cuba Streets.

The 60,000 spectators expected can enjoy live entertainment at Waitangi Park from 3.30pm-4.30pm at Santa’s Party in the Park, hosted by Classic Hits breakfast team Dave and Camille.

The Christmas festivities continue in the park with Carols by Candlelight at 7pm.

In case of bad weather an announcement will be made on Newstalk ZB at 9am on Sunday. Alternatively, call Wellington City Council for an update on: (04)499444.

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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