13 Oct 2022

Jolly celebrations for National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant countdown

With less than a month to go, the countdown begins to the 90th anniversary of one of South Australia’s most loved annual events – the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant.

To mark the ninth decade of the world’s second largest Christmas parade, ‘Stardust Castle’, the home of Pageant floats, hosted a special event to launch two new additions to this year’s float line-up.

The floats will tour Adelaide’s streets on Saturday 12 November as the pageant returns to its traditional format, after being held at Adelaide Oval in 2020 and 2021.

In keeping with the special anniversary theme, a new float titled ‘Celebrating Ninety Years’ was unveiled. The unmissable 4.2-metre-tall design adorned with bright colours and sparkle will be surrounded by a 90-person community band as selected, directed and led by legendary jazz musician James Morrison on pageant day.

To secure a spot in the band and perform alongside Morrison, budding musicians aged 14 and over from across Australia were invited to submit audition videos, reflecting the nature of the biggest coming together of community in the Southern Hemisphere.

The second float launched was themed on a happy elf design. The 4.3-metre-tall jolly elf represents the delight felt at being back on the streets and the tradition of breaking out the Christmas decorations for another year.

A competition calling on people to help name the elf was announced, with the winner receiving reserved seating for a family of four on Pageant Day.

The morning also included musical performances by SAPOL Band, in reference to the big band theme of this year’s National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant. 

On such a big year for the pageant, Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison reflected on the event’s history and its important role in bringing South Australian communities together.

"This year marks the 90th annual National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant and it will be one to remember as it returns to Adelaide as a street parade, bringing families and loved ones together, and continuing the decades-long tradition waiting for Father Christmas at the blue honour line,” Minister Bettison said.

“Not only do events like the pageant offer locals and visitors family-friendly entertainment, but they are valuable to our state’s economy and vibrancy.

“Hundreds of thousands of people will flock to this iconic event in the heart of our city, which flows on to local businesses and supports local jobs.

“As we look to warmer weather, more events, and this exciting start to the festive season in our state – it all helps paint a picture that South Australia is where people want to visit, do business, and stay.”

Brian Gilbertson, National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant Director said the 90th pageant is shaping up to be a huge celebration.

“We are extremely excited for this year’s National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant and the buzz from today’s float launch means the countdown is really on,” said Mr Gilbertson.

“It is clear just how much the pageant means to South Australian families and how much they are looking forward to welcoming the parade back to Adelaide’s streets this year.”

In this exciting year for the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant, new branding has been created to complement the refreshed National Pharmacies logo. At today’s float launch, Vito Borrello, Chief Executive Officer of National Pharmacies spoke about the Pageant’s new look.

“Today’s float launch was a fitting tribute to the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant on this special anniversary year. It was exciting to see a special snapshot of what’s to come on 12 November, it is a day that we are all looking forward to,” said Mr Borrello.

“It was great to announce the new look National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant brand today. The brand elevates the look and feel of the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant while also respecting its long tradition and links to Christmas. We think it looks fantastic and cannot wait to see it rolled out across the Pageant this year.”

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National Pharmacies