The 2013 TrustPower Christmas Festival & Santa Parade attracted a huge turnout, with at least 30,000 people lining both sides of Mount Mainstreet.

Mount Mainstreet manager Leanne Brown said the parade was "a real cracker", the weather was perfect on Saturday and there was a record 51 floats.

Spectator numbers were at least on par with last year's turnout and the quality of floats exceeded expectations, she said.

Schools, businesses, sports clubs and community groups took part.


Mrs Brown said the focus of this year's parade was on a return to the more traditional and community-focused floats with a strong Christmas theme.

"This year we had a very traditional Santa float, which meant Santa was very accessible to the children. Santa was so engaging with the children. It was wicked. All feedback I have received is this was the best parade ever."

A route change this year meant spectators arriving late for the start were still able to see most of the parade, and children on the floats could still enjoy seeing Santa arrive, she said.

Mrs Brown said commercial entries were charged a minimum fee to ensure their participation was still mainly an emphasis on promoting the Christmas spirit.