Central Hawke's Bay will be ramping up the Christmas spirit this weekend, starting with the annual Community Christmas Parade at 1pm on Saturday, December 8.
The parade, complete with music, decorated floats and of course Santa, will travel the length of Ruataniwha St, Waipukurau and then head for Russell Park where it kicks off an afternoon of family fun that goes from 2pm onwards.
Sunday's merriment begins at the Waipukurau Racecourse where the gates open at 11.30am for the Waipukurau Jockey Club's annual Christmas race meeting featuring the PGG Wrightson/Leopard Hotel Christmas Cup.
The first race starts at 1.17pm and entertainment includes Fashion in the Field - the $1000 Best Travel Heads or Tails Competition, a Pony Scurry, and for the children face painting and pony rides, a Christmas-themed dress-up competition with spot prizes and children's races. Entry is $10, under 18s free.