Behind every good man there’s a great woman, the old saying goes and Santa Claus couldn’t do all the good deeds without his number one supporter and helper.
Mrs Claus isn’t usually publicly acknowledged, known for her extensive work behind the scenes as she makes sure Santa has all the presents he needs for his marathon gift-giving delivery run on the night of Christmas Eve.
But this Christmas, for the Howick Santa Parade on Sunday, December 8, Mrs Claus is making a special rare public appearance.
It’s the 66th running of the parade and Mrs Claus is taking her place in it alongside the elves before her headline-act husband, Santa, makes his entrance at the end of what will be a colourful display of all that is good in the East Auckland community.
Chief parade organising elf and event manager Bo Burns, of the Howick Children’s Charitable Trust, is thrilled so many local groups want to march in the Santa parade.
“Christmas is for everyone, but especially for the children, that’s why it’s so pleasing to have most of the groups involving our wonderful young people,” she says.
“It gives them an opportunity to show the community their talents and commitment.
“We have 60 groups marching in the parade including six schools, as well as sports, recreation, dance, activity and service organisations, and local businesses. It will be a wonderful show of our community.”
Burns is encouraging families and friends to make a day of it by enjoying the pre-parade entertainment in Picton Street that starts from 11am, before the parade rolls at 2.30pm.
“We’re creating a carnival atmosphere that will have something to enjoy for people of all ages,” she says.
The official opening for the Howick Santa Parade event is at 11am, followed by entertaining performances by Legacy Studios, a K-Pop dance crew, Red Dance, Cockle Bay School’s kapa haka Christmas, the Eastern Stars band and the Alan Watson magic show.
Parading groups start lining up in Fencible Drive and adjacent car parks from 12.15pm, before marching on the route of Wellington Street, Picton Street and Cook Street from 2.30pm.
For those people who cannot attend the parade in person, they can watch it online in a live stream at http://www.youtube.com/c/HowickSantaParade.
Sponsors and facilitators of the Howick Santa Parade include the Howick Children’s Charitable Trust, Barfoot and Thompson, Andrew Simms, the Howick Local Board, Lion Foundation, the Howick Club, New World, Galbraiths Law, Howick & Pakuranga Times and many smaller donations and help from supportive local businesses.