Santa will be coming to town on 13 December. Photo: File.

Santa Parade saved by local supporters

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Santa will be coming to town this year after all.

A privately-organised parade will happen on 13 December at 1pm after Nelson City Council decided to cancel their annual event.

Last month the council announced that it would be too risky to plan a big parade in case Covid-19 alert levels were to change. Instead, it is holding a series of smaller events.

However, Murray Leaning, the usual MC for the parade, has stepped in to organise his own event with The Hits radio station after he was inundated with “hundreds of calls and emails” from disappointed locals.

“Richmond, Motueka and even Auckland are having their parades. Kids always look forward to it and I think we’ve lost sight of that over the last couple of years.”

Co-organiser Hayden Rose of The Hits is a big fan of Christmas and says the season wouldn’t be the same without the parade.

“There was a gap that the council and previous organisers had left, and it was just the right thing to do, we had to do it.”

Hayden says the annual parade has always been a popular event in Nelson, and in the wake of Covid-19, people are yearning for something like this.

“It just gives the kids a little bit of normality.”

He says people can expect this year’s parade to be shorter, sharper, and more spectacular.

“It is going to be similar with a line-up of floats but it’s going to be tight and last year there were five-minute gaps between floats which wasn’t good for anyone.”

He says it will be the perfect entrance into the holiday season.

Mitre 10 Mega will be providing trucks, Asphalt and General will handle the traffic management and cover the street closure costs and Event Audio will provide discounted PA services.

The parade will travel down Trafalgar St, from Hardy St to the Hathaway Carpark.

All entries will be judged this year with prizes for the best float, best business float and people’s choice.

To enter a float or volunteer, go to www.nelsonsantaparade.co.nz