Thousands of eager children lined the streets of Auckland yesterday to get a glimpse of the jolly man in red.

One family even arrived at 10.30am armed with chairs and snacks to bag themselves a prime viewing spot.

It wasn't only Santa who delighted the crowd - the New Zealand Army Band, the Christmas Train, Willie Wonka floats and a giant inflated Cat in the Hat also took part in the 78th annual Farmers' Santa Parade.

A line-up of characters and celebrities also walked the 2.2km route. They included Care Bear's Cheer Bear, Sid and Scrat from Ice Age, Ben 10, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Spot the Dog, Peter Rabbit and the Wicked Witch, Dorothy, Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz.


Organisers had no crowd estimate, but said more people showed up than last year, most likely because of the fine weather.

This year's Farmers Santa Parade charity was Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.