You can never have enough of a good thing and Christmas parade organisers have introduced a new format aimed at turbo-charging the tinsel.

The parade route will stay the same as last year, but a Christmas festival will take place at the Village Green afterwards.

"The idea is to have something that all the kids and families can do to keep the momentum going," said organiser Alia Ryan.

The theme of this year's parade is celebrating the diversity of Christmas in Rotorua and what that means.


"It's all about telling the story of what Christmas means to everybody who lives in Rotorua. We all have different ways of celebrating Christmas. It is a very diverse theme and it is about getting together and celebrating it in our own way," Miss Ryan said.

All the favourite floats will be there, but there will be some surprises.

"Let's just say Santa might just have a Kiwi feel," she said.

She also wants the crowd to dress to impress this year. Rotorua doesn't need much of an excuse to go crazy with the costumes, and Miss Ryan is putting out the call for the crowd to dress up in a Christmas theme.

"There will be spot prizes for the best-dressed people in the crowd. So pull out the terrible Christmas jumpers or tinsel yourself from head to toe. It's a great time to get dressed up with the kids, have fun and be cheesy."

A map of the parade route.
A map of the parade route.

After the parade, instead of a staged event, the festival starts and it features loads of interactive activities including food stalls, free face painting, free games and activities for big kids, carnival games and inflatables. Plunket is also creating a play zone for very young children.

The BOP Marching Group will be giving a display and invite people to give it a go along with them.

Surprises and selfies will be plentiful. Rotorua's favourite characters and sports people make appearances during the afternoon, and The Hits Photo Booth will be operating for printouts of your favourite Christmas selfies, said Miss Ryan.


Santa will be available for photographs at the festival and organisers are encouraging people to bring along a small present that he can pass on to the Salvation Army for children in need.

"Share the love and remember that there are children who go without during Christmas. A little something can mean a huge amount to a child."

After the success of last year's outdoor movie, it will be repeated again this year.

Home Alone is this year's feature and will be played on the big screen at 6pm.

What: Rotorua Christmas Parade and Festival
Where: Soundshell and Village Green
When: Saturday
4pm: Parade and festival start
515pm: Short prizegiving for winning floats
6pm: Home Alone on the big screen