Feilding - Rangitikei Herald

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Our region is alive and well and heralding the arrival of the festive season with market days and Christmas parades.

Many of these events are supported by sponsorship from local businesses and organisations.

It's great to see rural and provincial communities coming together to celebrate Christmas.

Bulls, Marton and Taihape all held their respective Christmas parades on December 3 and by all accounts they were bigger and better than ever.

Sue and I were lucky enough to be a part of the festivities in Bulls.

The floats on show were amazing and represented the exciting and diverse community that Bulls has become. There was plenty of food available along with a variety of musical entertainment. There was even a miniature train and Santa's cave was set up in the town hall.

Bulls School seized the initiative and held their market day in the afternoon, which was also a great success.

This year's Marton Jaycees' annual Christmas parade followed hot on the heels of the annual market day so there's certainly plenty going on over there.

The market day attracted around 160 interesting stalls and some outstanding street performers who showcased the vibrant nature of this community in the best possible way.

Saturday's Christmas parade got under way with a flyover from a Grumman Avenger (the largest single engine plane used during WWII).

The aircraft was piloted by Squadron Leader Jim Rankin from RNZAF Ohakea and Mayor Andy Watson was on board for the ride.

The parade highlighted the town's community spirit with an array of floats representing many schools, kindergartens, businesses and community groups.

Taihape's Christmas parade was also bigger and better than last year and once again was made possible thanks to sponsorship from local businesses.

Along with the many floats, the vehicles from the Wanganui Vintage Car Club were popular as was Dennis the Fire Engine - a fire engine that was made in England in 1928 and spent most of its working life with the Wellington Fire Brigade.

I am always heartened by the support from the wider community when it comes to events, which bring the community together. We're very good at this in Rangitikei.

Whether it is gathering to commemorate at Anzac Day services or meeting with kindred spirits to share interests and hobbies, our communities have a fantastic ability to engage and stay connected.

There are so many opportunities for young and old to mix and meet with others and to share their enthusiasm.

Community spirit is alive and well throughout our region.