Blenheim Christmas Parade 2019
By: Christopher Cookson
Last Modified: 7-12-2019 18:16
Christmas parades are something that Kiwis do well. We might not be particularly religious as a nation, and we don't typically get into big patriotic parades to celebrate our national day, as Waitangi Day is, well, a bit controversial to some people. Christmas is something of a safe bet. It's summer, school is almost out, and holidays are just around the corner for most people. For those people who do still go to church, Christmas is about celebrating the saviour of the world, and superheroes do seem to do well at the box office, even for people who insist real ones could never possibly exist. For those who are not religious, there's the prospect of presents, whānau, and the possibility of chilling out at the beach or over a barbecue, and not having to think about work too much for a few days. Basically, there's something positive about Christmas for many people, and grinches aren't really appreciated.
Blenheim happens to be the home of an award winning brass band, and we've got plenty of other talented groups and individuals, so it's not hard to put together a pretty impressive parade.
I happen to have a niece and nephew visiting from Brazil who have been here just under a week, and we took them to it, and they seemed to enjoy themselves. They blended into the crowd fine, as there were both spectators and participants of a variety of ethnicities. My Brazilian brother-in-law is going to be very envious, as he has a fascination for bagpipes, and Blenheim's own pipe band was on parade as well as the Marlborough District Brass Band.
The weather decided to participate this year as well, turning on a rare thunder and lightning show, along with a torrential cloudburst, but fortunately after a good bit of the parade had actually happened, and watching stoic pipers in kilts marching in the rain seemed to add to Scottish authenticity.
As for Santa, he was there too, but with all those thick layers of seasonally inappropriate clothing, I'm sure the rain never even made it through all that padding, although he probably could have squeezed his outfit like a sponge when he got off the float.
Well done, Blenheim as always.
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