Huge crowd lines Adelaide streets for Christmas Pageant

Some colourful costumes offer more protection than others from showers during the pageant. (Facebook: Credit Union Christmas Pageant)
(Flickr: Greg Scales) Photo:
SA police horses are always part of the CBD parade.

First street parade had eight floats and three bands1934: Father Christmas became part of the pageant and it ended at the department store’s Magic Cave1945: Adelaide’s pageant made a return after not being held for four years during WWII1960s: TV coverage of the event commenced1985: Retailer David Jones bought SA retailer John Martin’s but the pageant continued1990s: The South Australian Government bought the annual event and later sold the naming rights to a group of credit unions
Saturday’s annual parade started with a glimmer of blue sky after some morning showers and wound its way along a route of more than three kilometres through city streets until Santa took up residence at the Magic Cave in North Terrace until Christmas Eve.The parade is always held in early November to herald the approach of the retail festive season and regularly attracts crowds estimated at more than 300,000, with additional interest in the television coverage of the event.The 2016 pageant had 66 floats, along with dozens of clowns, a variety of bands and other performers, and each year some new floats are created.This year’s crowd got to see Father Christmas Rules, Mr Sandman, the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny floats for the first time.A blue “honour line” is always painted along the streets to help manage spectators and ensure a clear path for the floats and other entertainers.The thousands of volunteers who bring the pageant magic to life attended rehearsals over recent weeks and were up early on the day of the parade to share some breakfast and get into their costumes and make-up.After the city parade, some of the performers headed to the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital to ensure children in the wards there got to share some of the excitement of pageant day. Adelaide’s annual Christmas Pageant has widened its scope this year, with even the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy getting some attention alongside Father Christmas. Some Pageant history:1933: Adelaide Christmas Pageant founded by department store owner Sir Edward Hayward. Photo:
Easter Bunny is one of the Pageant newcomers this year. (Instagram: CUPageant)
A wet roadway but blue sky as the annual parade starts in South Terrace. (Twitter: Events South Australia)

November 12, 2016 11:56:49

These performers were a “high note” of this year’s parade. (Facebook: Credit Union Christmas Pageant)
(ABC News: Robyn Powell) Photo:
Bright red soldiers march through the Adelaide CBD.
Adelaide Christmas Pageant an annual spectacle
(Facebook: Credit Union Christmas Pageant) Photo:
A giant cycling clown is ready for pageant action.
A clown keeps still while her make-up is completed. (Facebook: Credit Union Christmas Pageant)
Now a tradition of the Adelaide Christmas season, the Nimble float ahead of the first pageant in 1933. (SLSA: BRG121_1_1563)

Adelaide 5000
(Facebook: Credit Union Christmas Pageant) Photo:
Father Christmas waves to the crowd after the Adelaide pageant arrives at North Terrace.

(ABC News: Ashley Walsh) Photo:
Not just Santa’s big day, as the elves also get to entertain the Adelaide crowds.

South Australian Government Photographic Collection GN 14787) (History SA. Photo:
The Christmas Pageant was smaller but no less exciting for the crowds in the 1950s.

(Twitter: @SenatorWong) Photo:
A cupcakes float moves through the heart of the city.

(Facebook: Credit Union Christmas Pageant) Photo:
Cheers and waves from some of the pageant clowns ahead of the parade.