Here Comes Santa Claus

2 November 2010

He's travelling half the world to be here - Santa Claus himself is coming to town to kick off this year's Christmas countdown with the Santa Parade on Sunday 14 November.

Wellington City Council Events Manager Lauren Fantham says about 60,000 people are expected to head along to the parade this year.

"And they'll be thrilled with who will be there," she says. "Santa and his tireless reindeer will lead a parade full of A-list stars - Snoopy and the Red Baron, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and the Cat in the Hat.

"Children's floats will be full of characters like Pikachu and Cheer Bear as well as Weta Workshop's The Wot Wots."

The parade starts at 2.00pm on the corner of Lambton Quay and Ballance Street. It will then travel down Lambton Quay to Willis Street, before moving on to Wakefield Street and finishing up at Cuba Street.

"Santa's Party will be held in Civic Square after the parade - so join Santa for fun entertainment from Batucada before he has to rush back up north - he's a very busy man these days," says Lauren.

There will be a number of road closures and temporary parking restrictions in the central city on the day.

Lauren says it would be great if people could use public transport, or walk into town if they can.

"We always encourage this for big events. Between the huge volumes of people coming into town and the road closures, traffic can often come to a standstill."

For bus and train information, give Metlink a call on 0800 801 700 or go to:

Metlink website

If the weather is really bad on the day, the parade will be rescheduled to Sunday 21 November. This will be announced on Newstalk ZB at 9.00am on Sunday 14 November. Alternatively, you can phone the Council on (04) 499 4444.

A collection will be held during the parade for Wellington Children's Hospital, led by 'Hospi' the hospital lion. Proceeds will go towards the hospital's makeover appeal.

The parade is one of Wellington's oldest events, dating back to the 1960s when it was called the 'James Smith Parade'.