Crowds pour out for Whangarei Christmas parade

By Lindy Laird

At 11.30am on Saturday, Terry Hooper, from Kamo Community Inc, was wondering if anyone was going to turn up to watch the Kamo Christmas Parade.
"My goodness, we won't be holding this again if this is all the people who turn up," he thought to himself.
But by 12pm possibly as many as 10,000 spectators had "come out from under the shade" and the annual event was once again a resounding success, Mr Hooper said. "I figured it was just that hot they hadn't wanted to get there too early and stand out under that sun," he said.
He's helped organise the spectacle for the past 18 years.
This year's event had the usual number of floats and participating paraders - about 25 entries from community groups, schools, businesses, emergency services and clubs.
Of course, there's no show without Father Christmas and the cheery chap certainly had the crowd roaring.
The old guy is pretty tired after all these years but the parade organisers are hoping he doesn't retire just yet, as he's threatening to do, Mr Hooper confided.
The Kamo Christmas Parade started with a roar, too, being led by local bikers on a crowd favourite, the annual Bike Run. Dozens of bikers with toys to give to kiddies in Whangarei Hospital continued to the hospital with their gifts.
The event also featured the pre-parade Kamo street carnival, with stalls and entertainment.
The parade would be impossible without help from Lions and other service clubs, the Kamo Bowling Club, Whangarei District Council, the Police and so many more, Mr Hooper said.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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