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Upper Hutt’s Santa parade aims to celebrate the diversity of community

Nov 27th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

santaparadeTHE UPPER HUTT community is working with Upper Hutt City Council and local newspaper the Upper Hutt Leader to put on this year’s Santa parade, Christmas Around the World.

Community organisations, clubs, schools, kindergartens, kohanga reos, cultural groups, businesses, musicians and performers will all be part of the event, which will light up the city centre on Saturday December 7 from 3pm.

Mayor Wayne Guppy said this year’s parade was dedicated to cultural diversity and how the festive season is celebrated around the world.

“Upper Hutt is representative of many, many cultures and ethnic groups, so the way they celebrate the Christmas festivities is important to include as part of our celebrations.”

Upper Hutt City Council events coordinator Sarah Garnham said the Santa parade had a positive effect on the community, bringing people together and getting the kids participating.

About 24 floats are registered in the parade this year, a similar number to previous years.

There will be prizes for creativity, cultural display and crowd appeal, and a $1000 prize for the most outstanding float.

“The prize pool encourages groups to lift the quality of their floats and makes it more competitive,” Mrs Garnham said.

The Upper Hutt Santa parade has always been a partnership between the council and the Upper Hutt Leader.

The council designates a certain amount of money each year for community events, such as the Santa parade.

Mrs Garnham said the parade took several weeks for the council to organise such things as the formal road closure which needed to be in place.

The parade used to start at 2pm, but was moved to 3pm for the retailers.

“It’s also so it’s not so hot for the community and people wearing costumes in the parade.”

“I’m hoping for nice sunny weather, but the parade goes ahead rain or shine.”

Mr Guppy said he would not be on a float this year, but would be street-side enjoying the atmosphere and expressions on the faces of the children.

“I look forward to seeing what the community have produced with the diverse floats, but for me, the parade is about the kids of Upper Hutt.

“The parade is a good opportunity to be with family and friends and reflect on what the Christmas season is all about.”

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is is a Whitireia journalism student with a BA from Victoria University with English literature and media studies majors.
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