The 2019 Go Geraldine Christmas Parade turned out to be both the largest and most dramatic in years.
Earlier on parade day a downpour put doubt in parade participants’ minds, but within minutes the skies cleared and the sun returned.
Parade co-ordinator Janene Adams said by parade time in the early evening the clouds had returned, along with impressive displays of thunder and lightning.
“Due to the lightning, thunder and imminent rain, we decided to commence the parade 10 minutes earlier than the scheduled 6.30pm start time. This was a good move as our float waiting area was nearly full of floats and vehicles of all kinds in what became one of our biggest parades ever.”
Mrs Adams said the parade judges, world blade shearing champion Allan Oldfield, fellow shearer and father Phil Oldfield and local Constable David Bray, were amazed at the sheer number and variety of floats and entrants.
Mrs Adams said the parade “felt very big this year” and said she was delighted with the effort made by entrants.
“Every year I think that we have reached the pinnacle but the next year proves me wrong – 2019 was just the most fantastic parade with such a wonderful festive spirit, all while it poured with rain!
“It just goes to show what an amazing community Geraldine is that the parade still went ahead and that the crowds turned out to watch.”
The judges chose Geraldine Kindergarten for the best family focus award, Lynn River Ltd for most festive, and Earthworks Aoraki for most enterprising.
Mrs Adams also mentioned the Filipino community entry which wowed the crowds with music, scores of dancers and people in traditional costume.
“This was the first year that the Filipino community entered the parade but, judging by the warm reception they received from the crowds, we hope to see them back for next year’s parade as well.”
Mrs Adams paid tribute to Fresh Choice Geraldine proprietor Garry Sheed, who organises the Santa float and lolly scramble.
“I cannot thank Garry enough for all the work he quietly does for the parade. He bought and completely refurbished the sleigh a few years ago, gives up his time to be Santa and donates all the lollies for the immense lolly scramble held after the parade.”