News from Stardust Castle

The countdown to the 2020 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant begins!

7 October 2020

Preparations for the 2020 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant continued today at Stardust Castle, with the traditional pre-event launch of two new floats and news of an exciting partnership with South Australia Living Artists (SALA) Festival also announced.

The 2020 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant, confirmed to run in a new COVID-safe twilight format on Saturday November 14, is set to be one to remember for all South Australians.

This year’s National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant at Adelaide Oval will be reminiscent of an opening ceremony with all the beloved floats, characters, dancers and bands bursting onto the oval for the historical spectacular that will capture the wonder and curiosity of both spectators and television viewers alike.

Unveiling new floats for the upcoming National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is always an exciting moment and one that signifies that the event is fast approaching said Pageant Director, Brian Gilbertson.

“It is always a delight to see the reaction from the children, parents and families when we launch our new floats,” says Mr Gilbertson. 

“There are many considerations we take into account when we create and design any new floats, and each and every one of them has been crafted to amaze, delight and inspire the imagination of the child within.”

Launching the first two floats for this year’s National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant was an exciting experience for National Pharmacies CEO, Vito Borrello.

“Unveiling two new floats for the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant today has been a wonderful experience,” says Mr Borrello.

“It was a terrific moment seeing them roll out of Stardust Castle, knowing that we will all soon be celebrating one of South Australia’s most beloved events.”

The first float unveiled was the iconic equine duo Nipper and Nimble.

“It is certainly a wish for many South Australian boys and girls to be chosen to ride Nipper and Nimble in the Pageant, and for the first time in our history, the duo will be on the same float with our Royal Princesses and Princes,” says Mr Gilbertson.

“These majestic horses have been in every Pageant since 1933 and have so much history, with their origins directly linked to the Hayward family, who first created the Pageant. 

“With so many stories that they can share and memories that are held by South Australians, it is only fitting that we commemorate their role by delivering them on a new float.” Designed by Kari Lindsay, this float provides Nipper and Nimble with a new form of future Pageant transport.

The second float revealed today was the ‘Yellow Brick Road’, which will pay homage to a magical land of Oz with Dorothy, Toto, Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow surrounded by the munchkins. Designed by long-time Pageant staff member John Barone, this float is keeping with the tradition of including fairytales and popular children’s stories in the event.

Mr Gilbertson said that the tale, along with the movie, has certainly lasted the test of time and shares the thrill and excitement of unlikely friends adventuring together in an unknown land. 

“The premise of this float is to encourage children and their families, to believe in themselves and their dreams, and serves as a reminder that throughout life’s challenges, you really can find friends in the most unlikely places,” says Mr Gilbertson.

Also released at the launch, was news of a float design and building initiative with the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival.  The competition will be open to all South Australian artists in design, drawing, painting or sculpting, with the intention of bringing the winning float design to life at next year’s Pageant. The winner will also receive $2,000 in prize money generously donated by National Pharmacies. Find out more here.

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