The much-missed Waiheke Santa Parade came back to Oneroa with bells on last Sunday, after a break of several years.
A sunny Ocean View Road was crammed with spectators of all ages as everything from a blow up Spongebob to the star attraction, Santa and his entourage in a vintage fire engine, paraded proudly down the main street.
Glamorous girls on bikes, samba dancers, winged angels, polka-dotted lady bugs, a tree of teddy bears, black and white clad puppeteers and a sequined stilt walker were just some of the more visually startling sights.
And the parade wasn’t limited to human participants. Decorated horses trotting sedately along also made a super contribution.
The best overall float went to Room 11 of Te Huruhi Primary School, while the best commercial/business float was Horseworx. Kaleidoscope Performance took out the best education float and the best community float was won by New Hope Op Shop. Honorable mentions were the Waiheke Resources Trust and Cycle Action Waiheke.
Judges were former Community Board member and parade organiser Eileen Evans, current Waiheke Local Board member Beatle Treadwell and Waiheke Youth voice member Isla Treadwell.
Waiheke Youth Voice, led by Tracey Weston, Auckland Council and the Waiheke Local Board pulled off a fun event with a unique Waiheke flavour.
“I thought it was fantastic,” says Tracey. “To be honest, I was leading it so I didn’t see the whole effect, but it was great to have lots of new energy on board and so much community involvement.”
And judging by the enthusiastic turn out, the parade’s place in the island’s festive calendar looks likely to be confirmed.