The countdown to Christmas is officially on, with the second annual Darwin Christmas Pageant taking place yesterday afternoon.
Thousands of Territorians watched as community led floats walked, danced and drove through the streets of Darwin City.
The Pageant was also popular amongst retail and hospitality venues, with many business owners choosing to adjust their opening hours and stay open to capitalise on the sheer volume of people in town for the event.
“Now in its second year the Christmas Pageant is turning into a Territory Christmas tradition,” said NT Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles.
“The Pageant is an important activation for Darwin city, highlighting our strong community groups, bringing together our fantastic community and serving as a reminder for Territorians to shop and spend locally this festive season.
“Thank you to everyone who was involved. From organising this event, to leading a group in the creating and construction of your float parade, or walking group. Without dedicated Territorians events like this wouldn’t thrive.
“Christmas in the Territory is unique and it is great to see community groups, schools and local business rally around this merry initiative for a second year.”
More than 40 floats paraded through our city streets, and were made up of walking and dancing groups, rollerblades, horses, trucks and 4WDs towing everything from trailers, to boats and even a helicopter.
The Pageant program also grew to include more roving entertainment and children’s activities in Raintree Park and Smith Street Mall, live performances and of course, the Lord Mayor’s annual lighting of the Christmas tree.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the turnout of the Christmas Pageant this year. The noise, colour, excitement and Christmas magic exceeded our expectations,” said Lord Mayor, Kon Vatskalis.
“I would like to thank everyone who was involved, from the hard work and dedication of the float makers to bring their incredible designs to life, to the event organisers and volunteers who made the event possible.
“I would also like to thank the retailers that stayed open late so that the community could buy food, presents, drinks and coffee as well as, most importantly, thank the thousands of community members who came and celebrated with us.
“It was an exceptional night, one that is very unique to Darwin, and we’re looking forward to it continuing to grow in the coming years.”
The Pageant officially kicks off Christmas festivities in the city, including the popular Christmas themed lighting displays throughout the Mall and Candy Cane lane in Raintree Park, both activations made possible through a partnership between the Northern Territory Government and City of Darwin.