She carried our flag at the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio. Now javelin silver medallist Holly Robinson is helping lead the way – together with four teammates – at the 2016 Farmers Santa Parade in Auckland.
The five Paralympians are the official Grand Marshals for this year’s parade – the city’s 83rd – and will sit proudly on the all-new Rio-themed Paralympics float at the head of the almost two-kilometre-long cavalcade.
The parade travels a new route in 2016 with a hard right turn in to Customs Street East at the foot of Queen Street and the parade finishing by Britomart Place.
Dunedin-based Robinson (22) is to be joined by Nikita Howarth, Rebecca Dubber, Laura Thompson and Jesse Reynolds.
Howarth (17) from Cambridge won both gold and bronze in the pool while Auckland’s Dubber won bronze in the same discipline.
Auckland-based cyclist Thompson (30) won silver and bronze as sighted pilot to visually impaired team mate Emma Foy in Rio while swimmer Reynolds (19) was a non-medallist securing a 7th place in men’s 100m backstroke and 8th in the 100m butterfly.
The Grand Marshals are high-profile local or international public figures, or people who have made a significant contribution to the community or the country.
Robinson says it’s an honour to represent the highly successful New Zealand Paralympic team leading this year’s parade.
“Believe it or not I’ve never had the privilege of attending a Farmers Santa Parade so it’s certainly a red letter day for me,” she says. “Winning my medal and carrying the flag for New Zealand in Rio was of course a highlight for 2016 but this is right up there too.”
New Zealand’s Rio 2016 Paralympic team finished 13th in the medal count, outdoing its goal of 18 by three. The 31 Kiwi team members secured nine gold, five silver and seven bronze medals.
The team also retained the title of the most successful globally in terms of medals per capita.
Tens of thousands of excited parade-goers are expected to welcome Santa to Auckland as the 1.9-kilometre-long event winds its way through the city’s CBD on Sunday 27 November (rain date 4 December).
In addition to the sporting connection, cultural diversity is a huge theme in 2016. Brazilian dancers bring their own rays of sunshine following this year’s highly successful Paralympics in Rio.
Indonesian and Japanese entries mix with the mandatory festive season exhibits and there are entries that shine a light on Bollywood.
Sky City Tower is launching its brand new suit for mascot Scotty and there’s a huge new line-up of fantasy floats and costumes.
Cinderella – beautiful and delicate with all the most popular princesses.
Ice Garden – the most current and popular children’s hero comes to the parade enticing all with the incredible frozen theme.
• Paralympics – the Paralympic flames will be burning bright with a display screen the centrepiece surrounded by athletics paraphernalia.
Kaleidoscope Kritters – a galore of vibrant colours, sparkling music and all things extravagant.
Giant Balloon Octopus – a two metre-wide and eight legged blue and green sea monster made entirely from balloons.
Austin Powers – the international man of mystery comes to town in a bid to complement the Flower Power Float.
Santa’s Party in Aotea Square – from 2:30pm with MC Flynny and a continuous stage show, rides, face painting, hip hop performances, The Moe Show, Saintz Up Hip Hop Group, the Powerpuff Girls and West City Auckland Pipe Band all under the watch of the Lego Christmas Tree.
As is the norm, it’s easy to get to and from the parade with free parking on the day for vehicles parked before 11am and exited by 6pm at Auckland Transport Downtown and Victoria Street car parks
Bus train and ferry schedules and fares are available at www.at.govt.nz or call the contact centre on 09 366 6400. For more on the parade visit www.santaparade.co.nz.
2016 Farmers Santa Parade
Sunday, 27 November 2016
Sunday, 4 December 2016
1pm, Cnr Cook St and Mayoral Drive
Mayoral Drive between Cook and Queen Streets, left into Queen St, down Queen St, right into Customs St E ending at corner of Britomart Place.
All inner city roads are closed between 11:00 am and 5.00pm on Sunday 27 November.
Santa’s After Party:
Aotea Square, from 2:30pm.
Pre-Parade entertainment, product sampling, charity collection and giveaways begin from 12 noon and all the action of the Farmers Santa Parade begins at 1pm.
Past Grand Marshals have included Temepara George, Ivan Vicelich, Valerie Vili, Steve Price, Lucy Lawless, Barbara Kendall, Aaron McIntosh, Bernice Mene, Dean Barker, The Tall Blacks and the Silver Ferns.
Issued for Farmers Santa Parade by Pead PR
Contact: Lucy Fox, Pead PR, Tel: (09) 918 5583, Mob: 021 540 176, email: firstname.lastname@example.org