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Adelaide Christmas Pageant 2022– Commencing the Holiday Season with A Bang

By : Amelia Varley on Nov 18, 2022 | Reading Time: 5 minutes

Australia recently celebrated one of its oldest annual events that mark the beginning of the holiday season with great zeal and excitement. The Adelaide Christmas Pageant was back in full glory after a hiatus of three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Considered to be the biggest Christmas Pageant organized in the Southern Hemisphere, it has become one of the oldest and most cherished events that set the right mood and tone for the holiday season. This year’s Pageant was even more special as it marked the 90th anniversary of the event and was organized in its full form after more than two years.


Source: Youtube

History Of Adelaide Christmas Pageant

The Adelaide Christmas Pageant was organized for the first time in 1933. Since then, the event has been held annually on the second Saturday of November. Sir Edward Hayward, the owner of John Martin’s, a department store in Adelaide, was inspired by the Santa Claus Parade of Toronto and the Thanksgiving Parade organized by Macy’s. So, he organized the first Children’s Christmas Parade in Adelaide on 18th November 1933, when the Great Depression was at its peak. Even though the Parade consisted only of 8 floats and 3 bands and ran for just over 40 minutes, it was a great success with more than 200,000 spectators lining up to see it. Since then, the Parade became an annual event in Adelaide with several new aspects getting added over the years.

The Evolution of The Pageant


Annual Christmas Pageant, Adelaide

What started as a fun event for children has today turned into one of the most anticipated events of the Southern Hemisphere. The Parade is typically organized as a procession that begins at 9:30 AM.

The Pageant symbolizes the official welcoming of Father Christmas, a concept that was introduced in 1934.

It was in the same year that the tradition of the Pageant finishing at the Magic Cave, which was created in 1905, was established.

However, today the procession begins at South Terrace and finishes with the arrival of Father Christmas at the Adelaide Town Hall.

The event was canceled during 1941-1944 when the entire world was engulfed in WWII.

It was restored in 1945 and by 1969 its popularity had reached such levels that more than 500,000 people came to watch it. It was in the same year that the television broadcasting rights of the event were granted to the prevalent media houses.

In the year 1979, the Pageant witnessed the participation of 16 floats, the highest number till that year.

In 1996, the South Australian government took ownership of the Parade in its own hands.

Since then, the responsibility of organizing the event lies with Events South Australia, the events wing of the South Australian Tourism Commission.

There was yet another disruption in the organization of the Pageant in the years 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, rather than a full parade open to the public, the event was scaled down significantly and organized in Adelaide Oval.

A limited audience of only 25000 spectators was permitted to witness the event and their selection was done through tickets drawn from the ballot.

In 2021, the number of spectators was increased to 35000, but the parade was again held in Adelaide Oval on a relatively smaller scale.

The event was broadcast on television at 7:00 PM during both years.

Back With a Bang


We are back


The Christmas Pageant of Adelaide holds great historic and cultural significance in the life of the people of South Australia.

Hence, it is not surprising that the revival of the Parade in its full form was quite exciting for them.

This year’s Parade was one of the biggest in the history of the event with 170 different sets, 3000 performers, and 16 bands being a part of the procession. Moreover, before the police close off the Pageant Route, families and children were seen decorating the streets with chalk drawings and other types of beautiful artwork.

Eager spectators were seen taking up the best spots on the route of the Parade in the wee hours of the 12th morning, long before the commencement of the event.

Children and elderly people were seen especially excited about the event, which many believe, appeals to their inner child and reminds them of the good things in life.

The significance of the event can be accessed from the fact that the National Trust of Australia has officially recognized it as a Heritage Icon.

The highlight of the 90th edition of the Pageant organized this year was the brand-new float that celebrated the 9 decades of the event.

The float was surrounded by a 90-member brass band of National Pharmacies, the primary sponsor of the event.

James Morrison, the legendary Jazz musician, handled the responsibility of selecting, directing, and leading the band.

Finer Aspects of The Parade

The Christmas Pageant of Adelaide is unique from other similar events held across the globe.

To start with, the preparations for the Pageant of the next year begin as soon as the current year’s Pageant comes to an end.

It brings together thousands of city officials, volunteers, and event organizers to ensure that the Parade goes on smoothly and brings delight to the thousands of spectators who line up to see it.

Marketing is at its peak.

The primary sponsors are often given personalised gifts like personalised mugs, and trophies as a token of appreciation.

Branding is done at a high pace.

You will come across pull-up banners, and hoardings all around before the pageant. Many online printing shops also collaborate to become sponsors.

However, the most important aspect of the Pageant is that there is no barricading, just a Blue Honor Line to keep the public within its specified area.

It is simply amazing to watch even small kids stand behind the line in a very well-behaved manner as the procession passes by them.



The Christmas Pageant of Adeliade provides the people of South Australia an opportunity to welcome the festive season with great pomp and show.

The open community event brings together people from all age groups, different backgrounds, and social settings to enjoy the holiday spirit and spread a sense of delight all around.

The wide variety of floats, colorful clowns, dancers, and several different types of magical characters all contribute to reminding people about the true ethos of Christmas.