'Amazing' floats stop traffic

By Laurel Stowell

The 34 floats and walking displays in this year's Wanganui Christmas parade made it one of the best a long-term supporter can remember.

Des Healy, who has helped make several of the floats, told Mainstreet marketing manager Elise Goodge the parade was the best he had seen.

"The quality of the floats this year was amazing. We were completely blown away," she said.

When it left the corner of Ingestre St to head down Victoria Ave, the parade was headed by Brass Wanganui. Further along there was more music from the Concert Brass ensemble.

There was tumbling from gymnasts, dance steps from the Filipino group, prancing by the former Londontown reindeer and smoke as the good ship Black Pearl fired its cannons.

Ms Goodge estimated 8000 to 10,000 people lined the street to watch.

The parade ended at Pakaitore/Moutoa Gardens with a short concert from the Wanganui Community Choir, the announcement of prizewinners and a lolly scramble for the children.

The Wanganui Filipino Society picked up two awards, for being best overall and having the best costumes.

The Wanganui Boys' and Girls' Gym Club had the best walking display, and the Footrot Flats theme chosen by Wanganui Veterinary Services and Wanganui Farm Supplies made for the best float.

There will be at least one new float in the parade next year. Ms Goodge said Rotary South had made a donation to the Men's Shed and the men would be deciding what form their entry took.

The Wanganui District Council paid Mainstreet Wanganui $5000 to organise the parade, and many extra hours of volunteer labour went into making it such a success.

Although November 10 may be considered early to have a Christmas Parade, Ms Goodge said it had to be held in November, and on a day when Wanganui's only five pointsmen were available to direct traffic.<inline type="photogallery" id="16010" align="outside" embed="no" /><inline type="photogallery" id="16011" align="outside" embed="no" />

- Wanganui Chronicle

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