New Zealand Working Holiday (Part 31) : Napier City Annual Christmas Parade 2016

Every year, Napier City organises its annual Christmas Parade on the 26 of November. Crowds of people – locals and tourists gather along Emerson Street at 1pm to watch the colourful and beautifully decorated Christmas floats parade down the street. 😀

My friends and I intentionally travelled down to Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand specially to watch the Christmas Parade and I am pleased to say that we were not disappointed by what we saw on that memorable festive day. Admission is free, so be sure to check it out if you are in Napier for Christmas.

A Merry Summer Christmas

The Kiwis celebrate Christmas in summer which makes it a unique event to participate/witness each year. During this time of the year, Santa Claus and his little helpers are sometimes spotted donning stylish Bermuda shorts and fancy summer shirts instead of their customary red uniform. 😛

The Napier City’s Annual Christmas Parade kicks off at the Masonic Hotel and travels down Emerson Street before ending at Clive Memorial Square for the Christmas Festival Celebration where visitors especially the young ones will be able to receive a free sausage sizzle, play in the bouncy castle, have their face painted or even take a photo with Santa!

Napier City’s Central Business District (CBD) itself is a sight to behold during Christmas. The CBD is beautifully decorated with Christmas trees, lights and decorations, making it a beautiful scene for photos. In fact, there is something about Christmas that makes everything look enchanting and magical, don’t you agree?


An interesting performance at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016
A musical performance at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016
To the children’s delight, Princess Elsa of Disney’s Frozen made a magical appearance at the the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016
Hooter’s vintage cars parade at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016


Colourful Christmas Floats Parading Down Emerson Street

Each year, several organisations, clubs and societies in town such as the Drama Club, Steampunk Society, etc send their best looking Christmas floats to take part in the Christmas Parade in an effort to take home the coveted title of the ‘Best Christmas Float of the Year’.

Besides the floats, there are entertaining displays and performances as well ranging from marching bands, vintage cars and costume characters. I found out that visitors were able to cast their votes for their favourite floats via SMS and stand a chance to win a shopping voucher or two.

Amidst the sea of people, my friends and I managed to find a nice spot on the sidewalk to wait for the Christmas Parade. We enjoyed the display very much and took lots of photos for memories. The crowd dispersed once the parade was over and we carried on with our last minute Christmas shopping.


Christmas decorations made entirely of balloons by Mardi Gras Event Management at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016
Adorable Christmas Parade participants – young and old at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016
A Kiwi Santa and his little helpers walking down the street at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016


Art Deco style at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016


In a Nutshell

The Napier City Christmas Parade gave me wonderful insights into the casual Kiwi-syle summer Christmas celebration in New Zealand and it was a memorable experience. I now look forward to next year’s Christmas Parade, hoping it will be bigger and better than it was before. 😀


An entertaining Scottish marching band performance at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016
Santa Claus appeared and greeted the crowd at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016
Erika posing for a photo in front of a beautifully decorated Christmas tree at the Napier City Christmas Parade 2016
A marching band performance at the Christmas Farmer’s Market in Napier City


Up next: New Zealand Working Holiday Visa for Malaysians : Step-by-Step Online Application Guide


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