Looming storm clouds could not deter Santa and his entourage from rolling into Balclutha at the Clutha Country Christmas Parade and market day last Saturday, and helping spread some Christmas cheer throughout the district.
Clutha District Council community development adviser Jean Proctor said the parade brought families together.
‘‘2020 has been a challenging year for many, and the parade is a chance for friends and family to get together as a community.’’
Mrs Proctor said the market was something she and associate Pauline Soper organised independently.
This year, the pair celebrated 10 years of bringing the market to the community on the first Saturday in December.
‘‘We got together for a coffee 10 years ago and jokingly said, ‘How hard can it be to do a market every year?
‘‘Well, 10 years on, we wouldn’t say it’s easy, but we are very proud to be able to continue to organise the market in conjunction with the parade.’’
Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said it was a ‘‘magnificent’’ day for Clutha.
‘‘After a year that has challenged us, it is so neat that we can get together as a community and celebrate Christmas and being together again.
‘‘This year has been a challenge, but has there never been a time where we can be more proud to be a New Zealander, so onwards and upwards.’’
Taieri MP Ingrid Leary said Santa parades were always wonderful, and she was keen to support local artisans as she completed her Christmas shopping.
‘‘It’s all about supporting local artists, but especially this year.
‘‘It is so poignant, as we see what is happening overseas and the fact that we can get out and be a community together is so amazing.’’