Volunteers bring Adelaide Christmas pageant to life

(ABC News: Claire Campbell) (ABC News: Claire Campbell)
Sally Hebenstreit, who was a clown this year for the first time, said it had been her dream for nearly six decades to be part of the Adelaide pageant.She said she dragged her husband and two children in for the fun.”I’ve been making these kids practise every night — for an hour after tea — it’s serious business,” she said.”We’ve been to clown school, we’ve had all the teaching, training and we’re there now, we’ve got it.”Whatever the weather, and this year a touch of rain cleared in time for the street parade, it always heralds the arrival of Christmas cheer to Adelaide.When the busy Saturday morning is over and Father Christmas has descended from his float to enter the Magic Cave of retailer David Jones, the thousands of costumes have to be washed, ironed and put back into plastic bags to be stored until next November. I think there’s around 300 ladies that I do [make-up for],” she said.”One person does foundation, one will do cheeks and one will do lips.”After getting into costume, parade volunteers leave the workshop area to take their place on a float, collecting their props on the way to their place in the parade.Clowning around is serious business

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The Hebenstreit family went to clown school to learn pageant skills. Photo:
A Christmas fairy finds her costume in the dressing rooms. Adelaide’s annual Christmas pageant takes the work of thousands of volunteers to bring the joy and colour of the approaching festive season to hundreds of thousands of South Australians.On the day of the big parade through the streets of the CBD, the costumes room officially opens at 6:00am but many performers start arriving well before that.Make-up is a production-line process for the pageant performers and needs more than 120 make-up artists to help out on the day.Kelly Traeger is among them and has been volunteering at the Christmas pageant time for 13 years now.She said it was always exciting to be busy behind the scenes.”The atmosphere, you can’t beat it.
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(ABC News: Claire Campbell) By Claire Campbell

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November 12, 2016 15:06:38

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Kelly Traeger applies make-up to Kristina Obst for the Alice in Wonderland float.
Huge crowd lines Adelaide streets for Christmas Pageant