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Another big Starlight Parade crowd

December 3rd, 2011
[by David Armstrong]

The annual street highlight of the Motueka calendar, the Starlight Parade, again drew a large crowd last night, with young families and young people enjoying the occasion.

This year there seemed to be fewer floats than previously, but the parade kicked off at 8.30pm with the crowd lined about four-deep along the route from Pah Street to the New World carpark.

The weather started out pleasant and mild, but as dusk arrived the temperature dropped and a cool breeze sprang up, allowing those who brought warmer clothing to pat themselves on the back.

A criticism: Many of the floats were widely separated leaving the kids to be peering into the distance to see what was coming next. This strung out the time for the parade to complete, with some of the later floats hard to see as darkness took over. However the crowd were appreciative of the efforts of those taking part in the parade and the festive air and smiles dominated.

Here are some photos of some of the participants:


Comment by Shirley Frater:
[Posted 5 December 2011]

What a happy crowd waiting for Santa on Friday night. Great floats but the start of 8.30pm meant the last floats, unless they had a lot of lights on, could not be seen very well.

We all wait to see Santa with great anticipation, but many don't get to view him very well. He's always on top of a big vehicle with reindeer etc. If you are a small person what do you see? A big truck with something on the deck.

Perhaps float designers could find a way of having Santa on a low trailer so a good view could be had by all. Would make him seem real and us oldies guessing who is under the beard.

Comment by Jacqui Taylor, Our Town Motueka:
[Posted 7 December 2011]

Thank you to those who turned out to watch The Starlight Parade, and an especially huge thank you to the numerous sponsors, volunteers and participants who helped make the parade another success.

This event now costs approximately $11,000 to deliver. With increased traffic, crowd management and safety requirements, as well as trying to accommodate the rising expectations of the many spectators who attend, it has become quite a logistical and budgetary challenge.

Comments and feedback are always considered. Yes, there were less floats this year, and this resulted in a managed decision to slow the procession down. Those who spend countless hours and expense building floats and others who are involved in the organisation don't really want their moment to "shine" to be over in 30 minutes. Specators need only to turn up and be entertained.... for free!

Unfortunately, what happens regarding speed and spacing of floats after instructions are given sometimes becomes completely different in the excitment, when humans are involved.

A point to note regarding the lights for the last floats and "Santa on High": although he has been on a low trailer previously, and as I recall he almost got mobbed, I will consult with Santa at the North Pole on this (when the rush is over!)

Thank you again Motueka and Merry Christmas!

Comment by Sue Clark:
[Posted 11 December 2011]

I personally would like to see the Santa Parade take place on a Saturday perhaps at midday - more little people would turn up, it would of more benefit to the local shops because people who came to the parade would then hopefully stay to shop. It would also mean that children would not have to be up so late and get so cold and tired. Perhaps Santa could be on a motor bike or a low trailer so the little ones can actually see him.

$11,000 seems a lot of money to spend on a Xmas Parade and if the ratepayers or businesses are paying this amount then I think we should possibly see what most parents think would be the most appropriate time for the parade.

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