By RNZ

Auckland's biggest Christmas parade will take place today.

Thousands of people are expected to attend Farmers annual Santa parade, which is in its 86th year.

All inner-city roads, including Queen, Wellesley and Victoria Streets, will be closed between 11am and 5pm for the event, which starts at 1pm.

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After the parade, Santa's Party will take place in Aotea Square from 2.30pm with food, stalls, headliners PJ Masks and entertainment for the whole family.

The weather forecast is for bright sunshine, light winds and a humid 20C.

This year's parade will also be last for the city's five-storey-high Santa that stands on the corner of the Farmers building.

It was announced earlier this year that after 60 years, the giant Santa would head into retirement.

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Its owner, business association Heart of the City, said restoration work was needed and there were also challenges around the large structure's storage.

Auckland council's tourism and events company, ATEED, decided last year that the parade did not meet its funding criteria of bringing overnight visitors to the city.

Elected councillors voted to overturn the decision.

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About 95 per cent of the parade is funded by commercial sponsorship.

Last year's parade was postponed due to bad weather for the first time in 20 years.