21st parade ready to welcome Santa

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Getting ready . . . Santa Parade Trust chairwoman Michelle Ellwood is preparing for this weekend's Santa Parade. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

George St will be lined with Dunedin residents hoping to catch a glimpse of the man in the red suit on Sunday.

The city’s Santa Parade will start making its way down George St at 3pm, before finishing in the Octagon. A family concert, featuring Kelvin Cummings, will follow.

The parade, now in its 21st year, will feature 80 floats and displays, and about 150 children.

Mark Laughton, an original member of the Santa Parade Trust, stood down from the chairman’s role this year after occupying the seat for a few years.

The spot has been taken by Michelle Ellwood, who has been on the committee for about three years and was a volunteer before that.

She said organising the event had gone “pretty good” so far.

Planning, such as applying for funding, started in June, and a working bee was held on Saturday.

Before the parade, Santa and his elves will visit the children’s ward of Dunedin Hospital to deliver presents – either made by Otago Corrections Facility prisoners or bought by the trust.

Some presents will be left under the tree for children who will check in after the parade.

Mr Laughton said prisoners had been making presents, such as wooden cars and tractors, for about four years. He used to do it in the “early days” but it was stopped.

Prisoners started making presents about six months in advance.