People lined streets as early as midnight for iconic Christmas event

Children and adults alike put on their best Christmas outfits and have headed to Adelaide for the largest public parade in the southern hemisphere.

The Adelaide Christmas Pageant is shaping up to be a joyous event under sunny conditions with more than 300,000 spectators.

Multiple streets in the Adelaide CBD have closed as floats, elves, clowns, dancers and bands marched along the 3.7-kilometre route.

Pageant director Brian Gilbertson said hundreds of people have started lining the streets as early as midnight before the event.

Excited children catch a glimpse of the much anticipated Santa.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

“People sleeping in their sleeping bags along the pageant route this morning as we went going through as the lights coming up from dark to light,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide’s Deb Tribe.

“Kids already out on the road as soon as 5am can they were out drawing with their chalk.”

A family with three children dressed up in Christmas outfits on a street lined with people

Dressing up for the occasion is a must-do for the Adelaide Christmas Pageant.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Kathryn Jensen)

An Adelaide mother said she arrived at her spot at 5.15am to get the best vantage point.

“Probably about four, five hours I’ve been here…[it was] freezing cold,” she said.

“Lots of people though I couldn’t believe how many people have turned out, it’s amazing.”

Children in christmas outfits smiling on a chalk-drawn street

Excited children wait for Father Christmas’s appearance at the pageant.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Kathryn Jensen)

In its 91st year, the pageant is one of the most well-attended events in South Australia with the exception of two years when it was held at limited capacity at Adelaide Oval because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Floats starring characters from popular children books, bands playing Christmas tunes and thousands of performers brought early festive spirit.

In a final act, the big guy in the red suit waved to enthusiastic pageant-goers.

Two clowns dancing and skipping in a parade as people lined the streets

The Adelaide Christmas Pageant closed off most streets in the CBD.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

The pageant route used to end at Father Christmas’s Magic Cave in Rundle Mall but since 2019 the annual spectacle has finished at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Roads are expected to reopen by Saturday afternoon.

Two adults and two children dressed up as sunflowers

Parade performers all set to spread Christmas joy.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Kathryn Jensen)


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