Call for Christmas entries

Merry times ... Santa Parade's in downtown Ashburton lifts the spirits of thousands of people.
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It might feel too early, but now is when Mid Cantabrians need to start thinking of float ideas for the 2023 NBS Ashburton Santa Parade.

To be held December 2, wet or fine, in the Ashburton town centre, the parade usually attracts up to 10,000 onlookers lined along the streets each year.

This year for the first time there is a theme – Christmas Carols.

Organiser Carol Johns said she had already received a couple of entries from Christchurch, and was looking forward to receiving many entries from Mid Canterbury.

‘‘People don’t have to decorate floats or other things in the theme but if they want to they are very welcome to,’’ Johns said.

The annual Santa Parade in downtown Ashburton will be on Saturday, December 2.

Now was the time for local groups, businesses, families and individuals to put their thinking caps on and great creative by entering a float, with registrations due next month.

Johns has a long association with running the parade. She did this as part of the Ashburton Business Association until 2014 when the association wound up, following which she took on the organisation of the parade herself.

‘‘I am excited that it looks like we will be able to return to the parade route we use to have, going from Mona Square (12.30pm), along East St, around Baring Square East and back down East St to Mona Square, meaning people get to see the parade twice,’’ she said.

Merry times … Santa Parade’s in downtown Ashburton is set to return to its former parade route around Baring Square East and back down East St to Mona Square.

‘‘As I accompany the Santa float and see the children and families with smiling faces, I am reminded why I do this every year, for the last nine years,’’ Johns said.

There will be a team of judges to choose the best float. The winning float, announced at the end of the parade in Mona Square, receives $500.

Johns is also in need of volunteers to dress up for the parade. She has more than 40 costumes ready and waiting.

‘‘It would be great to have lots of teenagers who are willing to volunteer to dress up,’’ she said.

She is also looking for volunteers to help with traffic management on the day.

Í Entries for the 2023 NBS Ashburton Santa Parade close November 25. Entry forms are available at NBS Bank on East St Ashburton or from organiser Carol Johns, email her at [email protected]

Clowning around … Volunteers are needed to dress up for the parade with more than 40 costumes ready and waiting.