Santa’s helpers sought for parade

Carol Johns, left, and Sheena Clark - Santa’s little human helpers - were only recently sorting parade costumes in the hopes the parade could go ahead.

Santa’s little human helpers have been mending, darning and cleaning in preparation for this year’s annual street parade.

And it’s been a big job, with hundreds of costume pieces to sort ahead of the December event, which is taking a new route this year in downtown Ashburton.

The Hyundai Mid Canterbury Ashburton Santa Parade is planned for December 4 from 12.30pm.

Organiser Carol Johns said the new route will start, as usual from Mona Square, but will run along Cass Street heading towards Wills Street.

It will then loop around Victoria Street (in front of the Devon) and return along Cass Street.

The route replaces the usual East Street route, which has undergone major works as part of the town’s revitalisation project.

Enthusiastic volunteers are needed from 11.30am to wear the many colourful, costumes available for the Santa parade, which can be the highlight of many children’s week, Mrs Johns said.

Anyone interested can contact her via the parade’s Facebook page.

She would also be keen to hear from any business, or individual, keen to sponsor some new costumes including characters from a range of children’s book and movies.

The parade is one of two events in the central business district that day being planned by Mrs Johns and helpers.

The other is the Mid Town Mardi Gras with stalls, raffles, food/beverages, live music and entertainment lined up to attend the festive event.

Scores of stallholders, organisations and groups are keen to return to downtown Ashburton and sell their wares or promote their causes, Mrs Johns said.

The Mardi Gras, cancelled last month due to covid, is planned to run from 9am to 4pm, along the newly revitalised one way systems of Tancred and Burnett streets.