Our gallant Emirates Team New Zealand yachties are getting their homecoming parade after all.
Emirates Team New Zealand has accepted an offer to be the Grand Marshal for Auckland’s 80th Farmers Santa Parade on November 24.
And it’s going to be a family day out for all with around 30 Emirates Team New Zealand sailing crew, team members, partners and their children joining in the excitement of the day at the front of the parade.
Farmers Santa Parade manager Pam Glaser says the organisers believe there is no more deserving recipient than Emirates Team New Zealand to lead the 80th parade.
“Throughout the racing in San Francisco, Kiwis were engrossed by the contest, watching it unfold and cheering on the team. They were rewarded by a display of huge character, skill, seamanship and innovation from Emirates Team New Zealand that was a source of inspiration and pride to the country.
“We wanted to give the Farmers Santa Parade spectators, one of the largest annual crowds in Auckland, a further opportunity to acknowledge and honour the team.”
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker says the entire team is chuffed to be represented in the parade.
“While we were many thousands of kilometres away in San Francisco during the cup, as a sporting family representing New Zealand we were very much aware of the huge support we had from home.
“It is a great honour to be asked to lead the 80th parade. We are all delighted this symbolic welcome home is a wonderful family event because our families played a huge role in supporting our campaign,” Dean says.
The Grand Marshal is an American concept, and was successfully introduced to the Farmers Santa Parade in 1997.
Recipients of the honour are high profile local or international public figures, or people who have made a significant contribution to the community or the country.
Past Grand Marshals have included Temepara George, Ivan Vicelich, Valerie Vili, Steve Price, Lucy Lawless, Barbara Kendall, Aaron McIntosh, Bernice Mene, Dean Barker, The Tall Blacks, the Silver Ferns and New Zealand Olympians.
The Emirates Team New Zealand Grand Marshals will lead the parade in a River Boat float.
About the Farmers Santa Parade 2013
The Farmers Santa Parade hits central Auckland on Sunday 24 November (rain date Sunday 01 December).
1:00 pm: Pre-parade entertainment, product sampling and giveaways
2:00pm: Farmers Santa Parade begins
3.30pm: Santa’s Party, Aotea Square
The 2.2 km parade route starts in Mayoral Drive, turns left in to Queen Street, travels down Queen Street before turning left again into Customs Street West then heading up Albert Street, ending at Albert and Wellesley Streets.