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Making waves . . . Getting into the Christmas spirit early while working on a float for the parade are Timaru Christmas parade committee members Geoff Frame (left), Teressa May and Adrian Hall. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

All over Timaru, Santa’s helpers are busy preparing floats for the town’s annual Christmas parade on December 1.

Teressa May, a member of the committee organising the parade, said 31 entries had been confirmed for the parade so far and they were waiting for 11 others.

“They’re coming from businesses, community groups, sports clubs, cultural and dance groups,” she said.

This year’s parade is being organised by a committee drawn from service groups Timaru North Rotary, Timaru Suburban Lions and Host Lions, and Timaru New Generation Rotary.

In the past, the parade has been run by the Timaru Christmas Parade Trust, but it decided to withdraw.

Mrs May said the parade’s official title would be the Primeport Christmas Parade this year but this would be the last time.

“When we did research, we found that around the world everyone uses ‘Santa’ because they don’t want the connotations of religion.

“A lot of cultures don’t celebrate Christmas, so to be more inclusive we’ve changed it.”

Next year the parade will be officially called the Santa Parade.