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Christmas in Auckland with the Farmers Santa Parade!

Updated on June 30, 2011

Each year thousands of people flock to the main streets of Auckland, New Zealand when Christmas is only a few weeks away. A magnificent parade is held on the last Sunday of November as a fun celebration for all the children in Auckland. The Farmers Santa Parade features music and dance, decorated vehicles and huge inflated balloons shaped as well-known characters of child movies and television shows. The parade also marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

The Auckland Farmers Santa Parade is not an invention of recent years as it has been around for over 75 years. The first Farmers Santa Parade was held in 1934 and it has grown to the spectacle that it is today. The parade was envisioned by the founder of Farmers, Robert Laidlaw, to be "a gift of fantasy and fanfare for the children of the city". In those days the parade cars were pulled by horses and they featured characters with names that mean little to today's generations, such as Waggles and Goggles and The Big Fiddle. But the spirit of the parade remains unchanged till this very day!

Farmers Santa Parade 2010
Farmers Santa Parade 2010 | Source

From humble beginnings there are now thousands of volunteers involved in creating decorated vehicles, performing in the parade and organising it all. The parade wanders through the inner-city streets of Auckland which are all closed for this event. After the parade the celebrations continue at Aotea Square with shows for children and other events.

The parade is not only about fun and entertainment. An official charity is chosen for the parade and all donations given during the parade are donated to that charity. In recent years the charity of the Farmers Santa Parade was the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation. The religious meaning of Christmas in Christianity is also not forgotten: volunteers hand out flyers with information about the upcoming church services for Christmas.

This documentary of 1985 discusses the Santa Parade in more detail.

Auckland Farmers Santa Parade 2009

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Farmers Santa Parade 2010
Farmers Santa Parade 2010 | Source

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