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The Farmers Santa Parade 2023

The Christmas season doesn't start in Auckland until Santa Claus makes his way down Queen Street.
By Emma Clark-Dow
November 20, 2023
By Emma Clark-Dow
November 20, 2023

There's no better way to signal the beginning of the Christmas season than Farmers' annual Santa Parade, an event deeply entrenched in the hearts and minds of generations of New Zealanders.

The parade will be marching down Queen Street on Sunday, November 26, for its 90th year. Throughout this time, it has become known not only for an appearance by Santa himself but also for the incredible entertainment, talented performers and beautiful floats, some of which have been around since the early days of the parade.

Even back in 1934, the parade was about making a statement, with Santa arriving on an elephant, by plane and, one memorable year, by parachute in 1937. The parachuting Santa almost ruined Christmas for many by narrowly avoiding the glass roof of the Wintergardens in Auckland Domain, but a last-minute twist saved the day.

Ninety years later, the parade continues to improve, with 4000 people making it happen. This year, Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson will be leading the charge as the Grand Marshall, followed by the much-loved floats, such as Santa's Workshop, Storytime by Whitcoulls, the Nutcracker and enormous inflatable characters like Minnie Mouse and Miss Piggy. Two new floats will also be debuting this year: a Peter Pan Neverland-esque creation and a homage to Elf on the Shelf.

As well as the floats, there will be hundreds of dancers, musicians and cultural performances keeping the vibes high before Santa Claus makes his way down Queen Street. Following this, Santa will be throwing a Christmas party at Aotea Square.

You'll want to secure your spot on Queen Street by 12pm when pre-parade entertainment kicks off, followed by the parade at 1pm. If it looks like it's going to rain on Santa, the parade will be pushed to Sunday, December 3.

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