Sunday, 29th November, 2020
Tens of thousands of Aucklanders showed they are ready to enjoy life again, lining the central city streets, the rain refusing to dim the smiles and cheers as Santa made his appearance to herald the beginning of the festive season in a procession that is one of a kind at present in our Covid-hit world, said Santa Parade chairman and Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett.
Mr Barnett, who also had another key role today, as the designated driver of Santa’s float, after earlier officially welcoming for bobbing, helium filled, giant guest star, Peppa Pig, said it was a joyous occasion as people put aside the uncertainties and challenges to happily engage with each other and share family time with Aucklanders from all around the region.
“It was magic and quite cathartic actually after such a trying year. It was a wonderful show of confidence. Happy, smiling people, not all wearing masks, but scanning in, were able to safely watch a colourful, noisy parade of floats in an event that brings out the best of who we are and what we value,” he said. “Holding the annual Santa Parade without fear shows the world how successful New Zealand has been in stamping out the virus while ensuring protections and processes are in place to continue to look after us. No wonder overseas media have shown interest in covering the Santa Parade.”
Mr Barnett said over 4,000 volunteers work long hours to bring the parade to life, supported by hundreds of police, St John, Auckland Council and many others from traffic managers to parking operators waiving fees, and the clean-up crews who moved in so swiftly to return order to the town.
“Thank you all. We’re ready for a joyous Christmas, a summer of fun and a happy New Year with new beginnings and opportunities to accelerate our recovery and show the world that we are open for business.”