EPIC Te Puke is assuring the community that planning is still going ahead for this year's Seeka Te Puke Christmas Float parade.
Last week it was announced that there will be no Christmas float parade in Tauranga this year due to Covid-19 concerns and the possibility that the cost and effort of organising the event would be wasted if there was a change in alert levels that prevented it going ahead.
Te Puke parade organiser and EPIC Te Puke marketing manager Rebecca Larsen says she will be guided by any changes to Covid-19 alert levels, but planning is still in full swing for the Te Puke parade on December 5, with entries already being received.
She says she imagines the cancellation of the Tauranga parade, which will be replaced by a six week-long Christmas Art Festival, featuring art, entertainment and displays, will be upsetting for the community.
''They would have enjoyed ending the year on a high note with a float parade, especially for the children. It's something that kids look forward to and it marks the start of Christmas for a lot of people.
''But I understand it is a lot of work to put these things on and we all know what it's like when we do the work then can't produce the event. But we are in positive spirits for the [Te Puke] event going ahead and it's not looking too bad at this stage.''
The theme of the parade this year is a Traditional Christmas Celebrating Community.
After two sports-related themes, then a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the naming of kiwifruit, Rebecca wanted a return to a more traditional Christmas theme.
''It's also a theme to end this unusual year with something we can all enjoy.''
She says anyone who was thinking about entering a float in the Tauranga parade is welcome at the Te Puke one as long as they register, and people from Tauranga will also be welcome to watch the parade.
Rebecca is still on the lookout for volunteers to help on the day and anyone wanting to assist can email her on email@example.com.
■ Te Puke's Treat Trail is just eight days away - taking place on October 30 - the day before Halloween.
With the theme A Magical Wonderland, while it is not compulsory, everyone is encouraged to dress up and head to the town centre from 3pm.
As well as treats there will be food trucks at the EmpowermentNZ carpark, where people are also encouraged to take along a donation to EmpowermentNZ's foodbank.