Last year’s parade drew a rapturous crowd

Santa coming to Leeston

by Mike Isle

It’s a special occasion when Santa comes to town and when the town is Leeston just about everybody turns out to welcome him.

This year’s Leeston Santa Parade is on Friday, and like the almost 40 years of parades that preceded it, it will be very much a family event said one of the organisers, Kath Mentink.

“At the moment we have 22 floats registered ranging from the local preschool to local businesses. There will also be street entertainers, stalls for buying gifts and food stalls.

“This is a great family-friendly event and a great way to catch up with friends, and family before the business of Christmas overtakes us,” she said.

The parade, which has been running since the 1980s, is the work of a group of enthusiastic volunteers from Ellesmere Business and Promotions. It is funded in part by another popular local event, The Leeston Fete, which is held each March.

Kath Mentink said this year’s parade would be opened by Mayor Sam Broughton, escorted by local police, ambulance and fire brigade. Leeston’s main road would be closed from 5.00pm, with the parade starting at 6.30pm, followed by carol singing at 7.30pm.