It's almost time for the Credit Union Christmas Pageant, and families all over Adelaide are making plans to grab the best seats along the 3.3km CBD route. If you've never before braved the 300,000 crowds, in the hot November sun, with a gaggle of children in tow, then odds are you'll feel rather overwhelmed when it comes to deciding where to sit. So before you melt all over the footpath like a dropped Cornetto, consider your options:
Watch the beginning
The Pageant officially begins at the intersection of South Terrace and King William Street, and heads north along the western side of King William Street. The section between South and Terrace and Victoria Square is popular with families, as the road is wide with an elevated median strip perfect for setting up camp. Positives: Watch the Pageant early and have the rest of the day for other activities Negatives: Large groups need to claim space very early (pre 7am)
Victoria Square Taking a right turn down Angas Street, the Pageant route makes the most of Victoria Square by cutting through the centre, then returning to the northern end via Plutney and Flinders Streets. The Central Markets and Grote Street carparks are near here, and the grass in the Square is a good place for children to play while they wait. Some elevated seating is also available in the Square. Positives: Shaded grass areas, plenty of facilities, can see the Pageant twice Negatives: Busy – many people crossing the Square in all directions
Past Victoria Square, the Pageant continues north along King William Street. Here, the buildings are taller and provide greater shade. The parade arrives later, so it's possible to get in a spot of shopping in Rundle Mall beforehand. If you're lucky, you might know someone with access to a building's upper floor or balcony. Positives: More shade, access to shops Negatives: Later start time, large crowds en route to the North Terrace finish
Adelaide is like a second home for Father Christmas
Watch the End The Pageant concludes at the North Terrace entrance of the David Jones building, where Father Christmas disembarks his sleigh and takes residence in the Magic Cave.
Anywhere along North Terrace is hugely popular, and despite the late finish many seasoned Pageant watchers reserve their places from the early hours of the morning. Positives: Three Cheers for Father Christmas Negatives: Long wait, no shade on a hot day
General Tips Make sure you study the route map and read the handy tips section of the Pageant website. Know the locations of water stations, public toilets, and crossing points.
The November sun can be quite bright. Looking east into the morning sun can be potentially damaging for eyesight, so take sunglasses and choose a viewing location that minimises this risk. And of course, please remember to slip slop slap. Take a picnic rug to designate your group's space, and make sure you have plenty of snacks while you wait. Children are always delighted to learn that drawing with chalk on the road is encouraged – some chalk is provided but it never hurts to take your own. If you arrive too late to find space on the blue honour line, make friends with the group in front of you and send the children forward when the Pageant begins.
Does your family have a favourite spot from which to watch the Pageant? Please share in the comments section below.