Christmas parades have delighted local people since the 1930s. This page has information and images relating to the history of Christmas parades in Christchurch. For information on current Christmas celebrations and events see our Christmas in Christchurch page.
2023 Santa Parades
- The Christchurch Santa Parade has been renamed and is now the Mainfreight Christmas Show Parade and incorporates a Christmas market, amusement rides and festival at the Canterbury Agricultural Park (Showgrounds), 11am to 2pm, Sunday 26 November 2023.
- The New Brighton Seaside Christmas Parade is on Saturday 9 December, 10.30am.
- Rangiora Toyota Santa Parade is on Sunday 10 December, starting at 2pm.
T. J. Armstrong
The Hay’s Parade
According to the official Santa Parade website the Christchurch Santa Parade was started by well-known retailer James Hay in 1947. His son, Sir Hamish Hay, in his autobiography, puts the year at 1948.
The Hay’s Parade was a popular annual event for families. The Hay’s retail store had a dedicated children’s playground, Hay’s Roof, for many years.
Christchurch City Libraries has an archive of Aunt Haysl material known as the Aunt Haysl papers, which were compiled by Edna Neville. You can explore our Papers index for newspaper articles about Aunt Haysl.
New Brighton Christmas Parades
Audio: When did the New Brighton Christmas parade start? Nicole talks to New Brighton locals at the 2019 parade and then interviews Martha Baxendell of the New Brighton Project.
The New Brighton Library team takes part in the parade every year. Here are some photos from previous parades.
Photos of Christmas parades
- Our collection of Christmas photos
- Hay’s parade photos from the 1970s.
- Our Flickr set Christmas in Christchurch features displays, Ballantynes famous Christmas window, as well as Christmas and Santa Parades
- The Albert North collection of photographs includes images from a Hay’s Parade sometime in the 1950s
- DigitalNZ has New Zealand images of Christmas parades including the set Christmas Parade