Christmas

Christmas Pageant returns to Rundle Mall with 2024 date announced

Experience the magic early this year as Adelaide’s National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant announces its return on November 2, 2024. Join 320,000 attendees in celebrating the 92nd edition of this cherished festival, concluding in the historic Rundle Mall.

As the excitement of Easter ebbs away, it can only mean one thing. It’s time to start planning for this year’s Christmas Pageant! Because being festive is one thing that our Festival State is really good at.

And in keeping with that theme, we’ll get the chance to get into the Christmas spirit even earlier this year, with the news that the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant will be held on Saturday November 2nd.

The 92nd edition of this festive parade will commence at 9:30am the 2nd, culminating its journey through the city in Rundle Mall, the historical starting point of this magnificent event.

If you’re not across the history of the pageant, and it’s ties with Rundle Mall, the first Christmas Pageant, in 1933, was held during the Great Depression. Created by Sir Edward Hayward (Mr Bill), it featured approximately eight floats, four bands and 200,000 spectators. It ran for around 40 minutes. All participants were staff at John Martins. The Pageant ran from Angas Street to John Martins on Rundle Street. Some of the first costumes were made of crepe paper. Father Christmas first appeared in the Pageant in 1933 and Pageant designers were employed. Ever since, Father Christmas has been delivered by the Pageant to the Magic Cave.

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the pageant, its popularity continues to grow. Last year’s Christmas pageant saw an impressive turnout, with an audience of 320,000 attendees, maintaining its status as the largest public street parade in the southern hemisphere. With such monumental gatherings in the past, expectations are soaring for the upcoming event.

In a press conference held today to mark the pageant’s return to the mall, Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison shared “This event is unique and special to South Australians, bringing huge crowds of all generations into the heart of Adelaide to launch festive celebrations.” Minister Bettison also highlighted the significance of the pageant’s route, which will conclude in Rundle Mall this year, stating, “It will be the perfect way to kick off the 2024 festive season.”

Vito Borrello, Chief Executive of National Pharmacies, shared his anticipation for the pageant’s return and its positive impact on the community. “The love everyone shows the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is incredible and being able to see the joy across the entire crowd on Pageant Day is something we look forward to every year,” he said.

Brian Gilbertson, Director of the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant, assured that preparations were progressing smoothly for what promises to be another enchanting event. “We are ready to celebrate 92 years of festive magic in 2024 and look forward to sharing some exciting new additions with everyone too,” Mr. Gilbertson remarked. Reflecting on the historical significance of the parade’s end location, he added, “Returning to Rundle Mall in 2024 is something we are looking forward to—it’s where it all began and a special way for us to honour National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant history.”

For more details on the event’s line-up and activities, interested individuals can visit christmaspageant.com.au.

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