More than 4000 people turned out to take part in the biggest ever Masked Parade on Friday night.

Masked parade ‘biggest yet’


Four thousand people wove through the streets in a bright and vibrant Masked Parade in Nelson on Friday night.

Thousands of spectators watched the annual parade lining the streets as myths and legends danced their way past.

Masked schools and groups depicted legends of dragons and fairytales, and the parade was welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd says arts festival director Sophie Kelly.

Sophie says she was amazed at the creativity and effort put in by the entrants of the Masked Parade, and Upper Moutere School won the Kim Merry Supreme Group Award for their Willy Wonka entry. First prize for best Group went to Tasman Home Educators for their interpretation of Pandora’s Box.

The carnivale hosted an array of entertainment that saw parade goers mingling into the night on a closed off Trafalgar St.

Kids ganged up on members of the Nelson Giants in a friendly game of street basketball, and food stalls were serving crowd favourites such as snow cones and other festival fare at outdoor tables and chairs.

Live bands such as Tahuna Breaks and H’Sao performed to the crowd at a stage set up at the bottom of the cathedral steps, and Nelson College for Girls student Caitlin Abbott, 16, who was at the parade and carnivale with friends said she was enjoying the night. “I thought the parade was amazing this year, there was a lot of creativity, and seeing New Vinyl perform was awesome.”

Sophie says the young carnivale goers were well behaved and she thought it was great that they respected the alcohol ban and recognised the carnivale was for everyone. “The event was really family friendly, it is a community event and it’s not unusual to see four generations out there having a great time.”

There were four “minor” arrests on the night according to police.

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