Everything fell into place to make this year’s Orewa New World Santa Parade by far the biggest crowd puller in the event’s history.
Spectators lined the 1.6km route 3-5 deep – bringing estimated numbers to around 8000-9000 – 40 percent more than the previous record crowd, at last year’s parade.
These numbers swelled again for the Orewa Surf Sounds concert after the parade – an estimated 15,000 attended this.
Although the fine weather on Saturday, November 28 played its part, organisers Destination Orewa Beach say several other factors were at play.
Operations manager Hellen Wilkins says they were prepared for higher numbers due to four nearby parades cancelling in the Covid-19 climate (HM November 18), and increased the provision of things like toilets, bins and security to allow for that.
“On reflection we believe the increase was a combination of post-Covid, a growing population and the event’s reputation growing,” Hellen says. “We are humbled that the community was so supportive. Seeing all the smiles on everyone’s faces makes months of planning and all the blisters on our feet so worthwhile.”
This year there were 54 floats, plus many groups of costume wearers and musicians providing plenty so see and enjoy.
The Hibiscus Matters crew enjoyed taking part, dressing as reindeer and handing out hundreds of candy canes.
Floats were judged, but the winners had not been announced when the newspaper went to print. The total amount raised for Orewa Surf Club from the Surf Sounds concert was also not yet known. Last year $10,000 was raised.