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25 November 2021

COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of Masterton’s Christmas parade, but a lighting extravaganza in Queen Elizabeth Park will give residents and visitors a colourful festive experience.

Masterton District Council is also running competitions for the best-decorated homes and business.

Chief Executive David Hopman said a street parade would have likely been impossible to operate under the government’s COVID-19 traffic light system, due to be introduced on 3 December.

“This was a really tough decision, but in all likelihood we would be required to ensure vaccination certificates were in order and social distancing in place for a gathering the size of the Christmas parade.

“We are still looking for ways we might be able to take Santa to the streets. We’re checking his availability to see if he can make a quick, pre-Christmas neighbourhood visit to some of our residential streets before the real business of Christmas takes up all of his time. Watch this space for news on that,” he said.

“While we are disappointed we had to cancel this year’s parade, we needed to make a decision now so we can put alternative arrangements in place. Christmas will look a bit different, but Queen Elizabeth Park will look fantastic – and we really hope our residents and businesses get behind our decoration competition.”

The Council will be producing an online map of houses and businesses registered for the decoration competition, with winners to be voted on by the public.

We have some great prizes for our winners, courtesy of Trust House – $500 for home decorations that receive the most votes, $300 for second, and $150 for third.

The winning business will receive a full-page advertisement in the Wairarapa Times-Age worth $858.

Further details will be announced shortly.