The Farmers Santa Parade is an Auckland institution. Every year Farmers hosts a parade down Queen Street in the first for whole families to enjoy. The iconic Whitcoull’s building installs the big Santa statue (which used to have a winking eye and a moving finger, but has since been removed to keep it PC for today’s oversensitive populace). So this is how Auckland welcomes the month of festivities, and summer! Of course being Auckland, first weeks of summer do not always mean good weather, but that’s neither here nor there.
And of course, in my 10+ years of living in Auckland I had never been to this parade. I had always made it a point to avoid the city during the parade because it conjures up images of horrible traffic, blocked streets, impossible to find carparks and overcrowded eateries. That is, until this year.
Having found myself becoming a parent of a toddler, suddenly it seems like a good idea to go to a parade where the child can find herself among other similarly aged humans, and get herself overawed by balloons, streamers, dancing and other parade related items of entertainment. And hey, the weather was nice. And with a bit of luck, Auckland Transport would have risen to the occasion and managed to avoid complete gridlock in the CBD (spoiler alert: they actually kind of did).
So here are some of my favourite participants of the parade…
Thinking back it was actually pretty awesome to be sitting in front of the St James Theatre building to take these photos. It’s currently an abandoned building but I have been to a few gigs there many years ago… I have also done a couple of gigs there many years ago. Word has it that it may be restored and reopened under new management soon.