2016 Credit Union Christmas Pageant | 12 Nov 2016

Credit Union Christmas Pageant

2016 Credit Union Christmas Pageant – Saturday 12 November 2016

It’s time to start counting down the sleeps!

People of all ages gather along Adelaide’s streets each November to welcome the Credit Union Christmas Pageant. It’s the traditional start of the festive season, with more than 320,000 happy faces lining the 3.3 kilometre route to welcome Father Christmas. Children across South Australia look forward to the Pageant, and the magical parade brings the spirit and joy of Christmas to Adelaide’s city streets.

New floats at this year’s Credit Union Christmas Pageant

Three new floats will take to the streets. Keep a look out for spectacular new additions Father Christmas Rules, The Nutcracker Christmas Ballet and a new Stardust Castle plus several refreshed floats.

This year, Father Christmas will be joined for the first time in the Pageant by the Tooth Fairy, Mr Sandman and the Easter Bunny on the new Father Christmas Rules float!


Two new floats revealed at the official launch of the Credit Union Christmas Pageant, 6 October 2016

Christmas has come early with the official launch of the Credit Union Christmas Pageant today.

Two new floats were revealed, the Nutcracker Christmas Ballet and the new and improved Stardust Castle.

credit union christmas pageant new floatCredit Union Christmas Pageant Stardust Castle

New Limited Edition Credit Union Christmas Pageant Wrapping Paper

For the first time in Pageant history you can also purchase limited edition Credit Union Christmas Pageant wrapping paper. Why not add some Pageant magic under your tree this year! Go to cupageant.com.au to find out how to order your limited edition wrapping paper.

‘A World of Magic and Wonder’ at this year’s Credit Union Christmas Pageant

The Credit Union Christmas Pageant is and is regarded as one of the world’s greatest parades and this year’s theme is ‘A World of Magic and Wonder’.

For 84 years it has been tradition for children and adults to line the streets of Adelaide to officially start the Christmas season with the Credit Union Christmas Pageant, said Minister for Volunteers, Zoe Bettison.

“More than 320,000 people expected to watch as the pageant makes its way through the streets of Adelaide,” said Minister Zoe Bettison.

“This year marks the 21 years of event sponsorship with the credit unions and we look forward to delivering another successful event”.

This year Brian Gilbertson, Creative Director and the team invite everyone to step into a world of magic and wonder, where tales of magical characters and adventure become the everyday, where surprises and the celebration of Christmas accompany you every step you take.

“Everyone is encouraged to unwrap the magic of the Credit Union Christmas Pageant and look out for this year’s new floats revealed today Stardust Castle and Nutcracker Christmas Ballet which are sure to become crowd favourites.”

Robert Keogh, Chair, Credit Union Pageant Company said that the Credit Union Christmas Pageant is more than just a one day event for us; it continues to be an ongoing commitment by the more than 800 people who work or are associated with the credit unions.

The Credit Union Christmas Pageant is owned and managed by the South Australian Tourism Commission on behalf of the South Australian Government and is sponsored by People’s Choice Credit Union, Beyond Bank Australia, Credit Union SA and Police Credit Union. The Credit Union Christmas Pageant will take place at 9:30 am, Saturday 12 November.


The Floats in 2016

With 66 floats, over 260 clowns and 170 moving performing sets in the 2016 Credit Union Christmas Pageant, there will be something for everyone…

Fairy tale and fantasy floats, colourful clowns, marching bands, twirling dancers and many other magical characters all lead the way to the final float – Father Christmas in his beautiful sleigh.

The 2016 float list includes exciting new floats that the elves have been building at Stardust Castle! See our visit to Stardust Castle in 2014 for a look behind the scenes here.

Download a printable list of all the floats here

snow globe 1

2016 Route Map

The Credit Union Christmas Pageant starts with the blow of the gold whistle at the corner of King William Street and South Terrace in Adelaide.  The Pageant will meander through the city from 9.30 am, with Father Christmas on North Terrace at about 11.20am.

The 2016 Credit Union Christmas Pageant Route will be the same as 2015. Locations for amenities and route crossing points may change for the 2016 event.

The Pageant will proceed north along King William Street from South Terrace, then veer left at Victoria Square past the Hilton Hotel, then it will turn right through the square on to Wakefield Street before turning left into Pulteney Street.  From Pulteney Street the Pageant will then turn left on to Grenfell Street before making a right turn on to King William Street and then another right turn on to North Terrace.  The Pageant will complete its journey through Adelaide on North Terrace, where Father Christmas will make his way into the Magic Cave at David Jones.

Download a copy of the route map here. (PDF format)

Fun Pageant facts!

The 2016 Credit Union Christmas Pageant will feature:

  • 170 moving sets
  • 260 clowns
  • 66 floats
  • 21 dance groups
  • 15 bands
  • Five walking sets
  • Three choirs
  • One DJ
  • The first Pageant was held in 1933.
  • More than 120 talented makeup artists are set to apply make-up to more than 1000 characters between 6.30am and 9am on Pageant day.
  • Allianz Insurance will provide over 1800 breakfasts to Pageant characters and volunteers on Pageant day.
  • It takes 15 trucks to transport costumes, shapes, heads, bikes and props to Pulteney Grammar School, the starting point, the day before the Pageant.
  • It takes more than 240 boxes of tissues and 70 jars of make-up remover to remove all character make up.
  • From the week after the Pageant until Christmas Eve, well over 3000 costume pieces are washed, ironed and placed in plastic bags for storage ready for the next year.
  • The 2016 Credit Union Christmas Pageant is on Saturday 12 November 2016 starting at 9.30 am.

Read our behind the scenes experience Review of the 2014 Credit Union Christmas Pageant here.



Father Christmas

Father Christmas continues his special relationship with South Australia since appearing in the first Pageant in 1933. Father Christmas loves the way South Australian children are so well behaved. He loves to see the smiles on their faces and returns to the Credit Union Christmas Pageant every year. This is one event he would not miss for the world.

Father Christmas stands on a sleigh atop his float in his shiny red suit waving to the crowd, accompanied by his eight majestic reindeer standing at the ready on a specially made ice landing glacier. As the float passes by you can feel the cold. Father Christmas feels very much at home even though the day may be hot. It is awe inspiring to see Father Christmas escorted in grand style by the Pageant Queen and procession to the Magic Cave at David Jones, an enchanting Christmas wonderland loved by both adults and children alike.

 Father Christmas

You can access a whole host of information via the official Pageant website – it is absolutely loaded with information – from the Pageant’s long history to a gallery of recent times, there’s a Fun section with competitions and colouring in, along with handy information such as the full program, how to get there, car parking, road closures and handy tips for an enjoyable day.

float 4 float 5

Play & Go’s Pageant Tips!

Arrive EARLY

For a good spot along the pageant route be sure someone from your family or friend group arrives EXTRA early to set up – lay out a blanket and low chairs etc. Pick a spot in the shade if it looks like being a hot morning. Whoever volunteers for this job can bring the paper and a coffee to relax while they wait as the crowd steadily grows. There are cafes nearby all selling coffee and breakfast. How early you ask? Well…often by 6am the ‘front row’ along the blue line is already reserved. Having volunteers go early means you can take the kids in a bit later so there is less waiting time for them. {And if you are in the front row, try to only have rugs there and not chairs, so people behind get to see as well.}


Bring lots of sidewalk chalk to keep the kids occupied while they wait for the pageant to start. – the large, chunky sticks are best!


Drinks and Snacks

Pack a mini-hamper as there’s nothing worse than hungry or thirsty children in a large crowd with the closest shop too far (and too hard) to walk to!

Mobile Phone Number

Write your mobile number on your child’s wrist or arm in case they get lost and take a photo of them on the morning before you leave home.

Hats and Sunscreen

If the sun is shining on pageant morning don’t forget these items, along with sunglasses!

Wet Weather Gear

If it looks like there might be rain, bring umbrellas, but hooded jackets can be less awkward than holding umbrellas for children during the pageant. Most kids don’t mind getting a bit wet. Bring spare clothes for the kids to change into afterwards if necessary.

Catch Public Transport

Our kids love to catch the bus into town for the pageant – it adds to the excitement and can be easier than taking ages to get out of a car park and fighting traffic after.

Stay for Lunch in the City

If your kids aren’t too tired and don’t need naps anymore, consider staying in town for lunch until the crowds dissipate and the traffic gets back to normal. You can enjoy a packed lunch in the Hindmarsh Square interactive play space or go to one of the food courts in Rundle Mall (City Cross, David Jones, Myer or Rundle Place). They all have a good food selection and it’s often not as busy as you think because most people rush out of the city straight after the Pageant finishes. You could also share a pizza at one of the great cafes along Rundle Street too.


After the pageant finishes, why not check out the fire engines at the Metropolitan Fire Station (MFS) Open Day on Wakefield Street. It starts straight after the Pageant finishes.

float 6

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Credit Union Christmas Pageant website here.

What:       Credit Union Christmas Pageant

When:      Saturday 12 November 2016 | 9.30am – 11.30am

Where:    Adelaide CBD – see Route Map for details

Who:        Everyone!!

Images from the Credit Union Christmas Pageant website and by Play & Go Adelaide.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Christmas in Adelaide

Christmas Pageant Guide – Your guide to South Australia’s Christmas Pageants

Christmas Events Guide –  Check out what’s happening around Adelaide leading up to Christmas




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