The Magic of Christmas in the heart of Adelaide

2019 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant

This year's National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant will take place on Saturday, 9 November. Be sure to stay connected with us on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Hundreds of thousands of people of all ages gather along the streets of Adelaide each year to welcome the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant for the happiest day of the year. It’s the traditional start to the Christmas season in South Australia, with more than 320,000 happy faces lining the 3.3km route for the biggest Christmas parade in the world.

From humble beginnings in 1933, the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is a magical, free community event, full of fantasy, floats, colourful characters, bands, dancers and more, shared by generations of Australians for 87 years.

From 2019, National Pharmacies is the proud naming rights partner of the Christmas Pageant. Since opening its first dispensary in Adelaide in 1911, National Pharmacies has expanded to 51 pharmacies across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, and 20 Optical Stores in South Australia and is proud to partner with the event to continue captivating generations of Australian children.


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.


The characters in the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant are played by staff of our naming rights partner National Pharmacies.

The bands in the Pageant play on a rotation system and performance groups are selected each year to suit the Pageant's needs.

We are more than happy to receive enquiries from bands and performance groups with great ideas. Please send your performance group's contact information and a brief description of your ideas to

If your idea suits our artistic directional needs, you may just be asked to participate!

To be a character in the Pageant you generally have to work for our naming rights partner National Pharmacies or be a friend or family member of someone who does. 

Expressions of Interest to participate in the Pageant for National Pharmacies Members are closed for 2019, so check back in next year for opportunities for Members.

Sometimes there are competitions to allow the general public to get involved in the Pageant.

Keep an eye out for these chances and make sure to follow us on Facebook for updates on these opportunities. Good luck!

The Pageant starts at the corner of South Terrace and King William Street at 9.30am and winds its way through the streets of Adelaide,delivering Father Christmas to the Adelaide Town Hall at approximately 11.30am.

The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is in Adelaide, South Australia. The route starts at the corner of South Terrace and King William Street, and finishes at the Adelaide Town Hall. Check out the full route here

Charities interested in being considered as the official charity partner of the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant in the future need to email their expression of interest and contact details to

Rudolph's Community Site is a special reserved area located on Wakefield Street that is accessible only by an official pass. 

The site caters for the following groups with pre-arranged official passes:

  • Regional schools and kindergartens
  • Community and disability organisations
  • Special schools (such as Novita, and Cara)

Patients from the Women's and Children's Hospital (and their career or immediate family) can access the Site with their WCH identification wristband upon arrival.

Those requiring wheelchair access (and their carer or immediate family) can do so without wristbands or official passes

Disabled toilets are located nearby.

As the site is a reserved space, attendees can arrive later in the morning. There is also a special bus drop-off zone, and a great team of volunteers to provide assistance and face painters to add a bit more fun! 

Attendees are invited to bring along low chairs, picnic blankets, and cushions to sit on.

To get on Rudolph's Community Site mailing list or apply for your school or group's eligibility for the 2019 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant, please email

The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is held on the second Saturday in November. 

If this day falls on Remembrance Day (11 November), the pageant is moved to the Saturday before or after, depending on the year. 

The 2019 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant will be held on Saturday 9 November.

David Jones looks forward to welcoming Father Christmas at David Jones Rundle Mall on November 9th and celebrating Christmas with the city of Adelaide.

David Jones will be bringing their instore Christmas offering to customers as normal. Family favourites Nipper and Nimble will be once again be joining the celebrations inside the Magic Cave. There will be photos with Father Christmas and many more exciting new instore experiences for David Jones customers this Christmas.