Saturday was possibly the pinnacle of Christmassy events in Katikati and Waihī Beach with both places celebrating the festive time of year with a massive Christmas concert, a parade and a summer festival.
Katikati had a two-pronged Christmas approach — the Katikati Lions Santa Parade followed by Katch Katikati’s Christmas in the Park. Waihī Beach held its second ever Anzac Bay Summer Kick-off Festival.
The festivities started at 2pm with Waihī Beach Events and Promotions summer kick-off festival starring The Harmonic Resonators, Stylus and Matty and the Buxtones. On offer was also kapa haka, food trucks and plenty of kids’ activities.
A spokesperson says their event delivered a “magical day’' and attracted more than 1000 visitors.
Meanwhile in Katikati, about 23 floats and others were preparing for the annual Santa parade. One truck after the other filled with excited children waved their way along Carisbrooke St, giving out lollies along the way.
Organiser Kay Stanbury says the parade was “fabulous’'.
“A big thanks goes out to all the Lions who helped and to Eves Real Estate Katikati who donated the mountain of lollies.’’
Parade participants and bystanders then flocked to Moore Park for Katch Katikati’s Christmas in the Park where people connected with friends and family, played quick-fire raffles, shopped from craft stalls and ate from food trucks, watched roving entertainers and were entertained by singers Bede Bailey with Tammy and Lilly Rickard.
Katch Katikati events manager Kirst O’Rourke says they had record numbers turn out on Saturday for Christmas in the Park.
“Thanks so much to the community for helping us kick off our summer events in Katikati and celebrate Christmas after a tough year for so many.’’