Christmas Pageant 2014 | Behind the Scenes Experience | Review

We have been to many Credit Union Christmas Pageants over the years, but this year we have a new appreciation of how truly amazing this event really is.

The Play & Go Team were lucky enough to go behind the scenes and experience the Pageant as participants this year, and we were absolutely blown away by the way this event is meticulously arranged with everything running so smoothly. Not an easy task when you have over 170 moving floats and sets to organise, 1,000 participants and hundreds of volunteers to co-ordinate. From our visit to Stardust Castle for a sneak peek and costume fitting, until the time we handed back our costumes at the end, the friendly staff and volunteers were always there, helpful and supremely organised.

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The day started at 6.30am as participants arrived at Pulteney Grammar School on South Terrace.  The pageant route is already lined with hundreds of families even at this hour, with many arriving in the dark to set up behind the blue line.

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Over on South Terrace Pageant Headquarters was a hive of activity with helpful volunteers offering assistance around every corner.  Classrooms became changing rooms as racks and racks of costumes were delivered here from Stardust Castle, all well labelled with each person’s name, description of their costume and any accessories required.

Once in costume, participants then head over to the hair and make-up artists.  The court below is where the 255 clowns all had their make-up done.

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One make up artist would apply the white base while another one added the colour, making each clown unique. There were about 100 make-up artists preparing over 1,000 characters for the Pageant.

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Breakfast was served (thanks to Allianz Insurance) – and this is what it looked like to feed about 1,800 people in the morning. We’ve never shared breakfast with such a colourful and eclectic looking bunch!

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There was much excitement as we got closer to show time. Once the costumes were on, make up done and breakfast eaten, we saw clowns mingling with Jedis and Storm Troupers; you could very well bump into one of those big round Chefs and everywhere you looked there was a sea of colourful characters.

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The floats had been lined up in order, ready to go on South Terrace since the early hours. You could hear all the bands practising and see all the dance groups warming up on the field. There was such a buzz as everyone is there to have a great time.

By 9.00am all participants are standing by their floats and getting into position.  As we got closer to the whistle blowing at 9.30am which starts the Pageant, all the characters are in place and the engines have started. There were smiles all around, perhaps a little bit of nervousness, but plenty of laughter and excitement in the air.

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The Credit Union Christmas Pageant heralds the beginning of the Christmas season in Adelaide, brings a little bit of magic and welcomes Father Christmas to our beautiful city. This year 345,000 people lined the streets, enjoying the perfect weather.

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We had the most wonderful time as clowns in the gorgeous Austin 7 below, surrounded by very funny and entertaining ‘real’ clowns. Seeing so many happy families along the way and being part of this iconic South Australian event is something we will always remember.

Thanks so much to the South Australian Tourism Commission and the Credit Union Christmas Pageant for inviting us to participate this year. Well done to the organisers (what a relief the rain held off!), the participants and volunteers; and well done to all the dedicated Pageant goers who got in early to get a good spot; to the talented chalk drawers for brightening the path and all the families who lined the streets, cheered and waved, to make the event a celebration that is uniquely Adelaide.

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P.S. The bus ride from North Terrace (where the Pageant finished), back to South Terrace to get changed out of costumes, was the most colourful and lively bus trip ever! It was packed full of every character you can imagine, still buzzing from excitement and with stories to tell of a wonderful experience.

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