Every year’s Dargaville Christmas parade is full of fun, but this year there’s a little history in the mix as well

Christmas magic on parade

by Andy Bryenton

December 7 will see the main street of Dargaville transformed with the sights and sounds of the holiday season, as Santa comes to town with a little help from the local Lions club. At the same time, a special float will commemorate the 100th anniversary of an aviation milestone for the town.

Lions club organisers Noel Moran and Brian Nisbet invite those who wish to get involved to take advantage of the weeks remaining before the big day to join in the festive spirit. They and their fellow Lions have been instrumental in making the parade a success for many years, and the civic-minded local club say that they have once again secured the services of the ‘Man in Red’ himself, Santa Claus, to take the prime spot on his sleigh.

“The Dargaville Lions Club is the proud organiser of the annual Dargaville Christmas Parade, and have announced this year’s theme as The Magic of Christmas.”

Individual floats and concepts, however, are under wraps to add to the festive surprise. There are plans to field a model of pioneering aviator George Bolt’s aircraft in the parade, commemorating 100 years since he flew New Zealand’s first-ever airmail service from Auckland to Dargaville.

A team comprising the Dargaville Menz Shed, Northern Wairoa Boating Club, Northern Wairoa Genealogy Society, Dargaville Community Development Board and the Dargaville Museum have been hard at work on a replica of Captain Bolt’s vintage aircraft. It completed the first airmail run in the country in December 1919 and also broke the then altitude record of two kilometres.

George Bolt went on to serve in the second world war and later headed the engineering department of TEAL, the forerunner of Air New Zealand. Those who wish to register interest in assisting with the parade should contact the Lions on 027 601 4558 or 027 200 9043.