Festive fun weekend in Te Awamutu

By Cathy Asplin

People at this year's Gisler Architects' Christmas Parade talked of it being the 'biggest' and 'best yet'.

Te Awamutu resident Pam Downey was one of the many people who shared the fun with her family.

Dressed in festive red and green, Mrs Downey held her grandaughter Olivia Kamundu (pictured on page 4) as the floats passed by.

"It was a wonderful parade - lots of colour and variety in the floats and plenty to keep Olivia interested.

"She was at the parade last year too, but she was only a few weeks old then!"

Fortunately the weather was magnificent, the crowds turned out in force and the community spirit was strong.

Hundreds of people had put a huge amount of time and effort into the event - from the organisers and parade marshalls to the float makers and participants.

Adding to the creative floats on display were bands, dancers, marchers and a huge variety of vehicles.

For the judges finding float winners proved difficult - with so much to see and several factors such as 'effort', 'quality' and 'purpose' to consider.

Winners were selected in three sections with prizes awarded at the Pak'nSave Party in the Park.

Floats finished their circuit at Selwyn Park where there were games, giveaways, a sausage sizzle and speeches.

The lolly scramble and token drop proved popular with hundreds joining in.

Santa had an extremely busy weekend - he met people at his grotto, took part in the Christmas Parade, threw lollies and tokens out of the cherry picker at the park and joined in carol singing back at the park again on Sunday evening.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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