Lower Hutt's Twilight Christmas Parade cancelled

5:30 pm on 1 December 2023
Petone and Wellington Harbour, with the Hutt River.

Petone (file image). Photo: Supplied/ Dan Bailey

Organisers of a popular Lower Hutt Christmas parade have reluctantly cancelled the event because of traffic safety worries.

Petone's Jackson Street Collective co-ordinator Hellen Swales said the accident at the Avondale Christmas Parade last weekend in which six people were injured after a car rolled into the crowd was one factor in the decision.

The Twilight Christmas Parade was originally supposed to go ahead last Friday, but was postponed until today due to bad weather.

"Unfortunately, half our volunteer marshalls were unable to make it this week."

The marshalls were needed to control the crowds, with 36 entry points along the parade route down Jackson Street, she said.

"People always move the traffic cones. They're really keen to see the next float coming down and there's a gradual creep onto the road.

"And if we don't manage that well, my fear is we might have an accident similar to what happened up in Auckland.

"It wasn't easy, but we had to make that call from a health and safety perspective."

Swales admitted it was disappointing for all the community groups, businesses and schools, which had prepared floats, as well as the public.

However, there were still many Christmas events planned for Petone, including Santa's Grotto, a Christmas window competition and a treasure hunt, she said.

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