Santa's Coming to Town

7 November 2011

We're expecting more than 60,000 mums, dads and children at this Sunday's Santa parade so get there early if you want a good spot to watch.

Santa spreads some Christmas cheer on the streets of Wellington

Santa spreads some Christmas cheer on the streets of Wellington

The Wellington Santa Parade has been going for 62 years - the first one was 1949. Back then the parade only went round the Basin Reserve but thousands of parents and children lined the footpaths to witness the capital's first real Christmas street spectacle.

The parade was led by several highly decorated carts which were accompanied by a troop of colourful characters.

Last year 60,000 people lined the streets to enjoy the sights and sounds of the parade.

To make sure you don't miss out on the best vantage points it's important to plan ahead. A number of roads will be closed (see the public notice on the next page) so our advice is to take public transport if possible.

City events manager Lauren Fantham says the Santa Parade today is a lot bigger, with more floats and different characters, but it has the same philosophy - a gift of festivity and fantasy for the children of the city.

The parade starts at 2.00pm on Sunday, 13 November at the corner of Lambton Quay and Ballance Streets. If the parade is cancelled due to poor weather it will be held the following Sunday,
20 November.

This year Santa will be accompanied by some amazing floats including Egyptian, Circus, Treasure Island, Christmas Toy, Spaceship, Nativity, Buzzy Bee - and of course Santa on his sleigh and reindeer.

Kids can also expect to see some of their favourite characters, including the Wot Wots, Spot the Dog, Peter Rabbit, SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, Dora the Explorer, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Tweety Pie and Bugs Bunny and Kung Fu Panda.

The Santa Parade route has changed slightly this year. It starts at the corner of Lambton Quay and Ballance Street, travels down Lambton Quay to Willis Street then turns onto Mercer Street, along Victoria Street and into Manners Street where the parade ends.

Road Closures

From 7.00am (formation of the parade) to 3.00pm:

  • Ballance Street (Lambton Quay to Featherston Street)
  • Stout Street (Lambton Quay to Whitmore Street - exit to parking building to remain open)
  • Maginnity Street (Waring Taylor Street to Ballance Street)

From 10.00am to 5.00pm:

  • Lambton Quay (Whitmore Street to Willis Street)
  • Willis Street (Lambton Quay to Manners Street)
  • Customhouse Quay (Willis Street to Hunter Street)
  • Willeston Street (Willis Street to Victoria Street)
  • Mercer Street
  • Victoria Street (Harris Street to Dixon Street)
  • Bond Street
  • Lombard Street
  • Cornhill Street
  • Wakefield Street (Mercer Street to Cuba Street / Michael Fowler Centre car park)
  • Cuba Street (Wakefield Street to Manners Street)
  • Manners Street (Willis Street to Taranaki Street).

There will be no parking on the majority of the above streets from 7.00am through to 5.00pm Sunday 13 November.

Temporary bus stops will be in place on Customhouse Quay (2) and Jervois Quay (2).