Adelaide 2019 Christmas Pageant – New Route Ending at Town Hall | 9 Nov 2019

national pharmacies christmas pageant

Adelaide 2019 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant

This year’s National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant sees a change to the Christmas Pageant route. Father Christmas will be delivered to the people of South Australia, through the streets of Adelaide and welcomed at the Adelaide Town Hall.

After Father Christmas has his float moved from the area, the public will be invited to gather in front of the Town Hall. Choirs will be singing as everyone greets Father Christmas, who will make his way to the balcony and wave to the crowds before giving his Christmas message.

2019 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant

The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is a magical, free community event, full of fantasy, floats, colourful characters, bands, dancers, Nipper and Nimble and of course Father Christmas. The excitement, joy and colour of the pageant has been shared by generations of Australians for 87 years, with more than 320,000 happy faces lining the streets each year for the largest Christmas parade in the Southern Hemisphere, and the biggest event in the Adelaide calendar.

christmas pageant float

The Christmas Pageant has had a long partnership with David Jones, which has made the decision to end its sponsorship of the event this year. Therefore Father Christmas will not end his pageant journey at The Magic Cave on North Terrace this year, as he has since 1933. It will instead, pass the David Jones store as it goes along North Terrace (from Pulteney Street), then turn left onto King William Street to the Adelaide Town Hall.

The 2019 Pageant, the first under new naming rights partner National Pharmacies, will continue the tradition of delivering Father Christmas to South Australia, signifying the start of the Christmas season for South Australians.

New Floats for the 2019 Christmas Pageant

Three new floats have been revealed for the pageant this year. The Mermaid Christmas and Cinderella floats are gorgeous and are sure to be popular with families on pageant day – they’re definitely worth seeing in real life. The National Pharmacies float celebrates their first year as naming rights sponsor of the Pageant. There is one more new float still to be revealed.  See our video below for a look at the floats.

2019 Adelaide Christmas Pageant Theme

This year’s theme is: A World Full of Wonder – sharing the power to wonder ‘what if?’ and ‘is it possible?’ Take a moment to reflect and remember what it’s like to wonder and dream.

christmas pageant

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

NEW 2019 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant route

The new pageant route will be about 80 metres longer than last year. It will commence at South Terrace and travel north along King William Street, through Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga and Reconciliation Plaza along Wakefield Street, left into Pulteney Street, left along North Terrace and then south along King William Street with Father Christmas arriving to greet the people of South Australia at the Adelaide Town Hall.


The Pageant will now travel on the EASTERN side of King William Street between South Terrace and Victoria Square, which is the other side of the street from last year. Make sure you get a spot on the right side of the road!

christmas pageant new route

And here is the updated route map with handy info showing location of toilets, UPark car parking, water stations, First Aid posts, wheelchair access etc.

See it on the Pageant website here.

adelaide christmas pageant route map 2019

Fun Pageant facts!

From humble beginnings in 1933, the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant has been shared by generations of Australians for 87 years.

On average, the Christmas Pageant features:

  • 170 moving sets
  • 260 clowns
  • 66 floats
  • 21 dance groups
  • 15 bands
  • Five walking sets
  • Three choirs
  • One DJ

christmas pageant

  • 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.
  • 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 3,000 costume pieces are washed, ironed and placed in plastic bags for storage ready for the next year.


In 1896, Mr Edward Waterfield Hayward – then owner of the John Martin & Company Limited, established the ‘Magic Cave’. It was a Christmas fantasy world, to support children’s cultural heritage and provide a joyful community Christmas experience.

The Christmas Pageant escorted Father Christmas to the Magic Cave. Created by Sir Edward Hayward (Mr Bill), who was the grandson of Mr E. W. Hayward; the Pageant featured approximately eight floats, four bands and ran for around 40 minutes. 200,000 spectators came to watch the Pageant.

The Pageant encouraged the development of artists, with a team of artists, carpenters, wardrobe designers and mechanics all involved in the Pageant.

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 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 always awe inspiring to see Father Christmas escorted in grand style by the Pageant Queen.


Charity Partner:

Camp Quality is again the Official Charity Partner of the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant.

Camp Quality supports children and their families from the first experience of cancer, through every stage: from treatment to remission and also in the case of bereavement. They do this by providing innovative programs and services to these kids and their families, helping them to develop life skills and strengthen their wellbeing.

How you can help:

In partnership with the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant, Camp Quality will be raising funds so that they can continue doing the work they do for children and families all over Australia. You can donate both prior to, and on Pageant Day.

To donate now, follow the link below. On Pageant Day, look out for the Camp Quality volunteers, so that you can donate either with a gold coin, or with Tap & Go payment.


camp quality christmas pageant

You can access more information via the official Pageant website – it has FAQs about the day and the latest news about the Pageant. 

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. 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! Take along refillable water bottles – there are SA Water stations where you can re-fill your bottles for free.

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 in 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 only use them until the Pageant starts. When the Pageant is on, try not to use umbrellas so that people behind you can see. This is where hooded rain jackets are the best – just the cheap $2 ones do the trick. 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. If you do want to drive, some of the U-Park car parks and others near the Pageant have a special $5 or $8 flat rate offer on the day.

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.

You could also get in early and see Father Christmas after the Pageant at Myer.

What NOT to bring

You should NOT bring deck chairs, umbrellas and ladders.

float 6

Mini Film Competition:

Children aged from 6 to 12 years of age have the chance to win ‘A World Full of Wonder’ experience at this year’s National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant, by creating their very own Mini Film. FIND OUT MORE HERE

After the Pageant

Head along to the SA Metropolitan Fire Service FREE Open Day in Wakefield Street – read more here.

For more information and all enquiries please visit the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant website.



What:   2019 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant 

When:    Saturday 9 November 2019 | 9:30am until approx 11.30am

Where:   Adelaide CBD | See route above

Who:   Everyone

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.

Image Source: Credit Union Christmas Pageant website, National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant website and Play & Go Adelaide.


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