The first Christmas Pageant 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.
The floats assembled at South Terrace and travelled along King William Street, arriving at the North Terrace entrance to John Martins.
The Pageant Queen began being selected via store staff in a democratic system.
The Golden Pageant – 50 years. Just weeks before the Pageant’s anniversary, its creator, Sir Edward Hayward, passed away.
The State Bank of South Australia entered into partnership with John Martins to present the Pageant.
The tradition of chalk drawing on the streets to keep the kids entertained prior to the start of the Pageant.
2002 was the Credit Union Christmas Pageant’s 70th year. A new Pageant manager and creative director, Brian Gilbertson was appointed – only the fifth Pageant director and manager since the Pageant began.
The Pageant audience broke the Guinness World Record for the largest group of Carol Singers.
Junior royals added to the Credit Union Christmas Pageant Royal Family through a talent competition.
A Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing red noses was achieved.
In 2014, the Credit Union Christmas Pageant celebrated the theme of 'Share the Pageant With Someone You Love'. For the first time, the event held a national competition to bring a Pageant fan's expat family to Adelaide to see the event, thanks to Tiger Air Australia.
The 85th Anniversary of the Pageant, and the Credit Union's 22nd year as Naming Rights sponsor!
The 2018 event celebrated 23 years of the credit unions as the naming rights partner of the Credit Union Christmas Pageant whilst the Blue Honour Line turned 60 years old.
From 2019, the event welcomes National Pharmacies as the new naming rights partner with the event now being referred to as the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant.