If the smiles on the children’s faces were anything to judge by, the 2016 Apex Launceston Christmas Parade was a success.
Families of all shapes and sizes lined the streets of Launceston for the annual event. Some children sat mesmerised, while others jumped about excitedly.
The Tasmanian Police Pipe Band started the parade and were closely followed by a variety of floats including skippers, cars, dancers, bike riders, puppies, all emergency services and of course ended with the jolly man in the red suit, Santa.
St Finn Barr’s School won the award for Best Theme Adherence and Best School. Rockabilly Dance Club Launceston received the Most Musical award.
Roses of Tamar Red Hatters were awarded the Creativity and Craftsmanship award and the LAFM Corporate Award was won by Heritage Isle Credit Union. Award winners received a certificate and prize money.
A total of 37 floats entered in this year’s parade, which was themed a Night Before Christmas.
Apex Launceston Christmas parade co-ordinator Anita Cox, who organised the parade for the third year, said she had received a lot of positive feedback.
“Without everybody putting in all that time and effort, there would be no parade,” she said.
“The months of stress and organisation and planning are all worth while when you get to the day and see those kids smiles.”
Miss Cox said it was hard to pick a favourite float, but she had a couple.
“Everybody loves the Fire Brigade, especially all the kids and of course they love Santa,” she said.
Mayor Albert Van Zetton also attended the parade.
“It’s exciting to see a lot of the groups put in some creativity and to make something about the Night Before Christmas theme,” he said.
The Mayor’s Choice Award was awarded to the St Micheal’s Association. Alderman Van Zetton said he gave the float the award because of the way they had the theme right.
“They were also passionate about what they were doing and really enjoyed the moment. It was good for them to do that,” he said.
For the first time, all emergency services, including the State Emergency Service, Ambulance Tasmania and Aviation Rescue, were involved in the parade. Miss Cox said it was “fantastic” to have them all participating in the parade.
It is estimated more than 10,000 people lined the streets, with more than 500 being involved in the parade itself.
Each year, the parade organisers donate the float entry fee to a charity. A donation of about $900 will be presented to Spurr Wing Launceston, a home away from home for people receiving medical treatment, in the coming weeks.
You can see our gallery here.