There's an opportunity for someone special to sit with Santa at this year's Seeka Te Puke Christmas Float Parade.
By STUART WHITAKER
The final countdown for this year's Seeka Te Puke Christmas Float Parade is on.
Already 18 entries have been received and, with some having late entry as a Christmas tradition, EPIC Te Puke marketing manager Rebecca Larsen is expecting another great event.
''We get between 20 and 25 for a normal parade so it looks like its going to be up there,'' she says.
''We always get more entries closer to the time as well.''
Registration this year is being done electronically, with anyone wanting to enter encouraged to email rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org
While it is possible to enter on the day, Rebecca says that can cause headaches for organisers.
''In the past, we have even taken them on the day, but it can be very difficult to manage so we try to get people to register so we can get them to be in the judging. We also need to know [in advance] because if we get 30 or more we have to change the route for the parade - it has to go back one more roundabout.
''So we don't want to encourage people to turn up on the day."
One of the most prized seats in the parade is the one next to Santa and in recent years it has been saved for someone young who has been going through a tough time.
''People don't need to disclose too much, but it isn't just a competition for someone to sit with Santa - we want someone who is deserving.
''If there's a story out there and a child out there, let us know and we can arrange a ride for them.
''On the day they can bring a sibling, but they must have an adult to walk alongside.''
The smooth running of the parade relies on adult volunteers and Rebecca is keen to hear from anyone who might be able to help for the whole morning.
''And it is the whole morning because we are looking after a lot of vehicles behind the library and we need to have a lot of adult volunteers to be at the entrances with the kids and trucks moving around.''
Nominations for children to sit with Santa can be sent to email@example.com which is also the email address for anyone wanting to volunteer.
The theme of this year's parade is a Traditional Christmas Celebrating Community.
''There will be prizes for the floats and we encourage decoration. It's important that people make an effort if they want to win prizes.''
Rebecca would also like to see the parade enhanced by unusual vehicles and is keen to hear from anyone with old cars, farm or kiwifruit related vehicles who might want to decorate them and enter the parade.
■ There will be a health and safety meeting at 5.15pm on November 26 at The Delhi Club Indian restaurant.