The last of the Christmas parades for the year was rated a seasonal success.
After the weather forced Carterton to pull the pin on their parade last weekend, several of their floats joined forces with the Greytown parade in a festive amalgamation.
One of the key organisers for the Greytown Santa Parade, Wayne Terry, invited anyone and everyone who had missed out on the Carterton parade to join Greytown.
He said the event had “exceeded all expectations”.
The parade travelled down Greytown’s East St, starting at the junction with Jellicoe St and ending at the rugby grounds for some activities before Carols at Cobblestones opened its gates at 4pm.
With more than 100 participants, the parade stretched more than a kilometre long, with some floats still waiting to get going when the front of the line had already reached the rugby grounds.
Terry said he was “mindblown” by the turnout and positive feedback for the event, which also managed to raise $400 for the Westpac Lifeflight helicopter.
“A lot of people turned up from everywhere and that made it extra special,” he said.
Terry acknowledged the efforts of TrafficWise and their traffic management team for helping look after parades across Wairarapa.
He said they had helped to “[turn] every street into a festive playground for us”.
The review of the weekend event has been positive, with people volunteering their time to help with next year’s parade, he said
“People were saying it was fantastic; next year will be even bigger.”
Terry has committed to taking the parade reins again next year and said that while a date for that event had yet to be confirmed, “it will be happening”.
Terry will be launching his event management business, Smallfields, in January, where he will be doing “a lot of community-based events”.
Cobblestones Trust chairman Graeme Gray said the entire day had been a success and that “there was an increase in numbers on our average year”, for attendees at the Carols at Cobblestones afternoon.
The Cobblestones event had about 250 eager singers, with Lucy Cooper and Katie Abbott hosting the event, which included performances by Blue School, Maddy and Heidi Slater, Andy Eldred, Meg Hunter, Jack Brown, and Dragonfly and finished off with a ‘Christmas Carol Jam’ by all musicians.
Gray said there had been a particularly encouraging response.
“We always get a warm, positive response, and that’s why we do it year after year”.
“It ended up to be a really good evening weather-wise and that helped to bring the people out,” he said.