Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Snapshot of a Small Town.

There is a proud tradition in small towns (and many larger centres) across the country.
It is the annual Agricultural and Pastoral Show.
The A&P Show to us.

In Hawera it always coincides with the annual Christmas Parade, the Friday night before the show opens on Saturday.
There is a totally local focus, and you could not mistake it for the Auckland Santa Parade for example.
This is either charming, or parochial, or celebrating the vernacular, or underwhelming, depending on your point of view.
But it's us.

I have grown to love the small town vibe, but then I have the advantage of being able to escape often.
It's a caring, supportive and tolerant community, where vulnerable people are looked out for, creativity abounds and old fashioned rural values remain.
Where our kids went to school it was normal to turn up in Grandma's knitted jersey and gumboots. Designer lunches were not required. It was like a breath of fresh air, and has remained so.
Thanks to "she " who took the photos and went to the parade, as she has every year since she needed to ride on her father's shoulders to watch.


  1. What a lovely Santa Parade - it looks very similar to our local one. :)
    I have never attempted the Auckland Santa Parade with the kids and am unsure if I'll be that brave for a while yet.
    And maybe not Grandmas knitted jumpers but knitted jumpers and gumboots is almost like uniform for my kids and kindy in winter xxx

  2. What a lovely parade. Back where i grow up in Shropshire its a tiny village and we had something simliar there, the beauty of the town is nothing really changes its like stepping back in town and its oddly smoothing. Where do the scottish pipers come into your home town? I married a Scottsman from Glasgow. The pipes are beautiful. Have a lovely week. Dee x

  3. There is always a Highland Pipe band at every small town parade in New Zealand. There is a strong Scottish herittage running through most parts of NZ, many Scttish people settled here in the 19th Century. My daughter learned Highland dancing till she was 17. It's a very strong tradition, especially in the rural heartland.


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