O Superman: Picturing Canterbury

Photo of Superman float in the 1978 Hay's Christmas parade.
Superman float in the 1978 Hay’s Christmas parade.

Is it the same Superman who was in the 2007 Santa Parade? I think so!
2007 Santa Parade

Explore our sampler of Christmas photographs from our collection. We also have images of the Hay’s Christmas Parade.

Browse DigitalNZ sets of images:

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Acrobats for Christmas: Picturing Canterbury

Photo of Acrobats at the Hay's Christmas parade.
Acrobats at the Hay’s Christmas parade.

Explore our sampler of Christmas photographs from our collection. We also have images of the Hay’s Christmas Parade.

Browse DigitalNZ sets of images:

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Christmas float: Picturing Canterbury

Photo of T. Armstrong & Co's Christmas float outside their High Street store [ca. 1930]
T. Armstrong & Co’s Christmas float outside their High Street store [ca. 1930]
It is Santa Parade time in Christchurch today (Sunday 8 December) Find out more about Christmas parades in Christchurch.

Explore our sampler of Christmas photographs from our collection. We also have images of the Hay’s Christmas Parade.

Browse DigitalNZ sets of images:

More images

How can I tell if Christmas is coming?

I asked around the office to find out how everyone knows that Christmas is coming. The responses were:

  • Your library books are due back in December.
  • You actually read the advertising fliers that increasingly flood your letterbox.
  • The bakery has yummy fruit mince pies  to purchase.
  • Work suggests it is time to book your Christmas holidays.
  • The Christmas cake and Christmas mincemeat are made!
  • Your son leaves “What I really want for Christmas is…” lists in your wallet.
  • You get put on hold on the phone and have to listen to Christmas carols.
  • Christmas trees and Christmas lilies are for sale on the side of most roads.Photo of Santa arriving by boat at New Brighton

If you ask a kid that same question, the response might be: “Santa arrives in town just before Christmas”.

This year the New Brighton Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday 3rd December.  The parade starts at 10.30am with Santa arriving by boat. The librarians at New Brighton Library will join the parade of floats made by local community groups.

Photo of Santa floatThe Christchurch Children’s Christmas Parade Trust has worked long and hard to ensure that their annual Santa Parade could go on. So I was pleased to read that the Parade will take place at 2pm on Sunday December 4th. The proposed route for this year’s parade will be Riccarton Road from Wharenui Road to Mandeville Street. There will be  great floats and characters, clowns and music and, of course, Santa.

So forget about earthquakes and potholes for a few hours and make your way to New Brighton and Riccarton for the annual Christmas parades.

Make sure also to explore our Christmas pages and tell us how you know Christmas is coming.

New Brighton Christmas Parade

Santa arrives in New Brighton
Santa arrives in New Brighton

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.