Sneak preview of Santa in the Bay

Santa is coming soon to a town near you.

Christmas is almost upon us, and so too are the annual parades that offer a sneak preview of the man in red before he decides if we’ve been naughty or nice this year.

The Trustpower Christmas Parade returns to downtown Tauranga on Saturday, December 1, with a host of new floats, big bands, entertainment, cartoon and movie characters and Santa himself.

The parade route takes in Devonport Road and The Strand, leaving 3rd Avenue at 11am and winding its way along to the finish line at the Harrington Street intersection. Post-parade entertainment will also be available on the waterfront.

The Seeka Te Puke Float Parade will also be getting under way at 11am on Saturday, December 1, with a sports star theme for 2018.

Following last year’s successful parade celebrating motor racing legend Denny Hulme, sports clubs will have a chance to show off their ‘stars in the making’ and compete for prizes in a range of categories.

The parade starts outside the Te Puke Service Centre and travels east along Jellicoe Street to the Oxford Street roundabout, before returning along Jellicoe Street to turn at RD1 to make a second circuit.

Also on December 1 is the Katikati Christmas Float Parade and Santa in the Park.

The Lions Club float parade leaves from Earl Drive at 3pm and travels along Main Road and Talisman Drive before returning to Main Road, Fairview Road and Middlebrook Drive, to finish in Moore Park.

Prizes are up for grabs for the best float and there will be food, games, raffles and a community concert to follow at Moore Park.

While Papamoa is not having a Christmas parade this year, there will be a carnival called ‘A Christmas Thing’ ¬next to Papamoa Plaza on Sunday, December 16, from 4-10pm where Santa will make a special appearance.