More than 5000 people marched through the central city for the 21st annual Masked Parade, which attracted an even bigger crowd of onlookers.
The theatrical event marked the beginning of the Nelson Arts Festival and was run by the city council. It carries a different theme each year, and this time it was The World of Books. Judging by the costumes, Dr Seuss was a hit among many.
The parade attracted students and groups from throughout the region, and was once the forerunner to the World of Wearable Art awards which began in Nelson before moving to Wellington.
Nelson City Councillor Luke Aclan, described the event's creativity as a true reflection of the region. Many people had grown up with the festival as part of their lives, and returned each year to take part, he said.
"I think it says we're quite relaxed, we're quite groovy - we're a little bit crazy and we know how to have a good time and enjoy what Nelson has to offer, and kick back and just celebrate community.
"It's just a great thing to be part of."
This year's Kim Merry Supreme Award was won by Nayland Primary School with its interpretation of Seuss' The Lorax.
The Nelson Arts Festival runs until the end of this month and features international and national artists in a programme of music, theatre, comedy and circus.