Drag queens and a mobile chocolate factory - complete with Oompa Loompas and a boy trapped in a vat of chocolate - stole the show at Paihia's Christmas parade on Thursday. More than 1000 people lined the Bay of Islands town's streets to watch the floats which, while small in number, were unbeatable in quality. Many hundreds of hours went into building Paihia School's winning entry, based on the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Children wielding giant lollipops or dressed as chocolate bars waved from a truck wrapped in foil and bristling with factory chimneys, while a small army of Oompa Loompas marched behind. Meanwhile the staff of Fullers GreatSights cast aside their inhibitions to dress as drag queens complete with fake eyelashes and fishnets, followed by a cross-dresser riding a giant stiletto perched atop a Fullers bus. Other stand-out entries featured pirates, the Cat in the Hat, the Wizard of Oz, and the musical Cats.
- 6:18 PM Dec 15th