I was very lucky on Saturday 5th December. I was able to park in the car park before the streets were closed off for the annual Santa Parade in New Brighton.
Along by the beach, the scene was on of quiet excitement mixed with organized chaos. The fire trucks were lined up and Christmas stocking hung from their grills. Scouts, Guides, gymnasts and small children in Santa hats and fairy rings were marshalled by parents. All were awaiting the arrival of Santa.
Santa’s boat finally arrived and he quickly disappeared behind a crowd of kids – big and small. All trying to convince Santa that they had been really good and deserved the latest must have. The mall was packed with people enjoying the market stalls and sausage-sizzle and waiting for the parade to begin.
Now some parades have big, flash expensive floats. New Brighton’s floats were community efforts made with paper flowers and recycled materials. Even Harcourt’s real estate signs were utilized. Mary, Joseph and the shepherds sported striped tea-towels. The pirate’s boat was cardboard. The police and the volunteer fire brigade lent their support to our local community. The Salvation Army and Chisnallwood Intermediate School provided the music.
For me, the highlight was seeing families out together enjoying, being a part of the community and waving and cheering when colleagues from the New Brighton Library passed by.