Father Christmas arrives from the North Pole on his sleigh after being welcomed by the children and families
of South Australia back to Adelaide [pic: Elyse Williams]
A perfect November day greeted Pageant-goers on Saturday as Adelaide heralded the arrival of Father Christmas to the South Australian capital, marking the state's traditional beginning of the festive season.
A total attendance of 320,000 made their way into the city, with hundreds camping out from late on Friday evening to secure their favourite spot along the Blue Honour Line.
Having led a stirring rendition of the national anthem before the start of the parade, Pageant Director Brian Gilbertson said the weather was perfect for the event, which celebrated its 86th edition in 2018.
“The parade led today with the new Credit Union Pageant Express a handcrafted locomotive, with its dual carriage caboose, stretching 18 metres in length – our longest float ever, you couldn’t miss it,” he said.
“The anticipated arrival of Father Christmas in Adelaide each year for the Pageant heralds the start of the Christmas season and each year we see bigger smiles and greater waves from the crowds for all our performers."
And as the city turned out its best to welcome the man in red, with traditional Pageant floats joined by popular newcomers - the Pageant Express, Gingerbread House and Christmas Shoppe - so too did it farewell old friends, with the Credit Unions concluding their 23-year association with the Pageant as naming rights sponsors.
It was one last hurrah for hundreds of employees of People's Choice Credit Union, Beyond Bank, Credit Union SA and Police Credit Union, as they along with their friends and families donned the traditional clown, elf and character costumes that bring the Pageant to life.
Leaders of each of the four Credit Unions were on hand to jointly-commence the ceremonial whistle-blowing to commence the pageant.
“This year’s parade was extra special as we acknowledged the 23 years we have enjoyed with the credit unions as our naming rights partner," said Brian Gilbertson.
National Pharmacies will take on the mantle of naming rights sponsor for the Christmas Pageant from 2019.
Stay tuned to cupageant.com.au for more photos and videos from the 2018 Credit Union Christmas Pageant.