It's Christmas time in the city!

The annual Farmer's Santa Parade in downtown Auckland has begun.

Pre-parade entertainment has kicked off, with martial arts groups, Korean cultural groups and hip hop dancers bringing lots of colour ahead of Santa's big arrival.

There is a massive crowd lining Queen St and neighbouring roads.

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Brass bands are playing Christmas carols and hymns.

Children sit on their parents' shoulders - making sure to get a glimpse of some of the characters prancing down the street.

There are superheroes, fairies Disney princesses and walking Christmas trees; as well as elves.

The America's Cup has its own float, with children accompanying it on a big ship.

Ahead of that is a band dressed as Kiwifruit pounding on drums.

Sisters Gaia, 7, and Nina, 9, Mills at the Auckland Santa Parade. Photo / Vaimoana Tapaleao
Sisters Gaia, 7, and Nina, 9, Mills at the Auckland Santa Parade. Photo / Vaimoana Tapaleao

Sisters Gaia, 7, and Nina Mills, 9, are enjoying their first ever Christmas parade.

Mum Dafna Kaplan said their family arrived from Israel last year and are now living on Waiheke Island, where their Kiwi dad is from.

Sporting Christmas-themed headbands, they looked on excitedly as the parade passed them.

Kaplan said it was the first time they had seen a parade.

"It's very different from where he comes from. I think they're loving it."

The Puyat family enjoying the parade.
The Puyat family enjoying the parade.

Darren and Kriselda Puyat, of Glen Eden, have made it a family tradition to bring their two boys - Elijah, 6, and Manny, 2, to the parade.

"They've been to a few now and it's all about Santa," Dad Darren said.

Elijah had a particular love for Nintendo's Super Mario Brothers.

"I don't think they'll see them here. But they love Santa - they just want to see him right at the end."

Angelina Lapa, 10, wore one of her Christmas hats for the event.
Angelina Lapa, 10, wore one of her Christmas hats for the event.

Ten-year-old Angelina Lapa was there with her parents and little brother.

She was proud of her bright green hat which let people know that she was a member of "Santa's sleigh team."

"We have different kinds of Christmas hats. I have another one with Santa's feet coming out the sides.

"But this is the one I found this morning," she laughed.

As a fire-breathing dragon passed her, she described her favourite parts of parades - people squirting water at the crowd and Santa.

Thomas the Tank Engine, massive My Little Pony inflatables and Madagascar Penguins will be roaming through Auckland streets.

The 84th annual Farmers Santa Parade has an eclectic, science fantasy theme of steampunk.

Event organiser Ronelle Thompson says she came up with the theme after a recent trip to Oamaru and fell in love with the style of clothing which is used in movies including the Golden Compass.

In preparation for the parade, Thompson has been busy creating hundreds of costumes that will sport wire, chrome and a ton of metallic paint.

This year's new float is a giant steampunk dragon.

Alongside the steampunk gang will be old and new friends including the Madagascar Penguins, Thomas the Tank Engine, Giant My Little Pony Inflatables, Peppa Pig and the big man himself – Santa.

The Santa Parade starts at Aotea Square before finishing on Customs St East.
The Santa Parade starts at Aotea Square before finishing on Customs St East.

Once the parade is over, the fun continues through the afternoon with Santa's Party at Aotea Square where there will also be food, vendors and entertainment for the whole family.

Auckland Transport has outlined the various road closures for today.

Between 7am and 5pm, Galway St (between Queen St and Commerce St), Lower Queen St (between Customs St and Galway St) will be closed.

7am to 3pm: Vincent St, Mayoral Drive (between Cook St and Wellesley St West), Wellesley St West (between Hobson St and Albert St).

10.30am and 4.30pm: Victoria St (between Albert St and Kitchener St).

11am and 4.30pm: Queen St (between Mayoral Drive and Customs St plus all intersecting roads), Customs St (between Albert St and Britomart Place), Fort Street, Shortland St (between High St and Queen St), Britomart Place, Emily Place (between Fort St and Emily Place Reserve), Gore St (between Fort St and Galway St), Commerce St (between Galway St and Fort St), Galway St (between Commerce St and Queen St), Wellesley St (between Elliot St and Lorne St), Wakefield St (between Mayoral Drive and Queen St), Wyndham St (between Queen St and Albert St), Darby St, Fort Lane, Airedale St (between Queen St and Mayoral Drive), Rutland St.

11am and 3pm: Greys Ave (access to Civic car park will be closed), Mayoral Drive (between Vincent and Wakefield St), Queen St (between Karangahape Rd and Mayoral Drive), Cook St (between Hobson St and Vincent St), Scotia Place.

11am to 5pm: Beach Rd (between Britomart Place and SH16/The Strand), Anzac Ave (between Beach Rd and Waterloo Quadrant), Tangihua St, Mahuhu Crescent, Tapora St.

Meanwhile, the MetService is forecasting cloudy conditions with a high of 22C.

Will Santa show up for the Auckland Farmers Santa Parade? At 1pm in Auckland today it will be mostly cloudy, but any...

Posted by MetService New Zealand on Saturday, 25 November 2017


* Pre-parade: 12pm - 1pm
* Parade: 1pm - 2.30pm
* Santa's Party: 2.30pm - 5pm