The call is out for fabulous floats like these from past years for the 2017 Christmas Parade. Photo Peter Rees

Push the float out – this year’s Waiheke Christmas Parade is going to be a cracker.

Waiheke Local Board is pulling out all stops to make this year’s event a success and local vineyards and businesses are donating great prizes. All it needs is the community to hop on board with some eye-catching floats – but the deadline for registrations is coming faster than Christmas itself.

The parade will start at 3.30pm on Saturday 9 December. Floats must be registered for entry by 24 November.

Those watching will be able to vote for the People’s Choice award for the best float. The winners will receive a $1000 cash prize – contributed by local businesses – to donate to a community group of their choosing.

Other prizes go to best business float, best education float, best community float and best overall. Donated prizes include Fullers ferry tickets; vouchers from Casita Miro, Mudbrick, The Batch Winery, Veranda, Oneroa Butchers and Onetangi Beach Apartments; and wine packages from Tantalus, Man of War Vineyards and Cable Bay.

At the parade’s conclusion, festivities will continue in the Artworks courtyard with children’s activities, music by members of the Waiheke Youth Music Trust, carol singing and a night market with food and gift stalls until 10pm.

Placemakers has donated Christmas trees to be put in the courtyard; the board is asking for presents to be donated to be put under the trees. Gifts will be distributed by Waiheke Budgeting Services Trust to families and individuals in need.

Jill Mallinson of the Ostend Market is organising the night market on behalf of Waiheke Community Childcare Committee. She promises food and gift stalls and plenty of children’s activities such as face painting and a bouncy castle.

Youth bands on the bill include Sonic Boom, Behind The Curtain, The Other Half Are Robots and The Commies; with acoustic sets by Jemilah, Jaz Caitcheon and Ciara Duncum.
Carols will be performed by Piritahi Childcare, Te Huruhi School and Waiheke Primary School, with carols by candlelight from 9.30pm.

To enter a float in the parade, registration forms are available at the local board office in Ostend, from Waiheke Library or by emailing:
“Let’s make this Waiheke’s best Santa Parade ever and celebrate our community spirit,” local board chairman Paul Walden says.

“Get your parade floats together, let’s create a spectacle for our community. It would be great to see all our community groups and services represented, our enthusiasts with their wooden boats, motorbikes and cars shown off and businesses showing off their equipment too.” • Geoff Cumming

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