Big crowd expected for Santa parade

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Thousands of people are expected to flock to the Waitaki District this weekend with two major events being held.

The annual Santa Parade expects to see more than 10,000 people line the streets on Saturday morning while the Bridging the Waitaki Waters island fling party hopes to see more than 4000 descend on Kurow Island from 11am.

Santa Parade organiser, Anton Roswell, from the Big O, said there were 126 floats entered and he hoped to see thousands of people come along to watch the spectacle no matter what the weather.

“I always love the smiles on people’s faces.”

The celebration on Kurow Island has been organised as a way to celebrate the completion of two new bridges on SH82 across the Waitaki River.

The double-land bridges, that were completed earlier this year, were built by the NZ Transport Agency to replace two ageing wooden single-lane timber bridges built in 1881.

One of the organisers, Elizabeth Hayes said it will also be a day to celebrate the island restoration.

Over the past 10 years the Kurow Island Restoration Group has transformed the island from a former dumping ground to a beautiful island recreation area, she said.

A number of stalls and activities including a ribbon cutting, a tug of war and a transport parade will be held at the event on Kurow Island on Saturday from 11am-4pm.

The Waitaki District Santa Parade will be held on Thames St starting at 10am.

By RUBY HARFIELD

PHOTO: Waitaki District Santa Parade oraganiser, Anton Roswell (left) and McDonald’s Oamaru owner/operator David Bond were yesterday busy getting Santa’s float ready for the Waitaki District Santa Parade on Saturday.