The annual Villawood Gawler Community Christmas Parade is set to have plenty of festive cheer on Saturday, 30th November 2024, with the return of a special guest.

Father Christmas flew to Murray Street in Gawler on Saturday to confirm his attendance, saying, “I received such a warm welcome last year, and the children were so good, I’ve made time in my busy schedule to return for the parade. To all the children and the young at heart in Gawler – ‘I’ll be back!’”

Event facilitator and local State Member for Light, Tony Piccolo MP, said this year’s event is set to keep families entertained for the entire evening as Gawler Apex Club plans to hold their twilight Christmas Market on the same day from 5pm till 9pm.

“Following the 7pm parade, Apex Park will be the place to be,” Mr Piccolo said.

“A range of activities will be on offer, including children being able to meet Santa Claus and the night finishing with the Rotary Club of Gawler Light turning on their Christmas lights display along the riverbank at 8:45 pm,”

“Entertainment will also be provided by the Gawler Town Band and a local Choir.”

Gawler Apex Club President Bronte Rhodes said the club is “proud to partner with the Christmas Parade as we believe our club's service will be of greater benefit to our local community.”

“With over 60 Markets stalls and 10 local service club food stalls, the Parade attendees will be well catered for,” Mr Rhodes said.

The event is a cornerstone of the community’s holiday celebrations, and Stuart Headland, General Manager of Villawood Properties SA, expressed his company’s pleasure in helping bring the parade to life again as principal and naming rights sponsor.

“The value of community that this event brings is so important as it not only contributes to growing a stronger community, it also aligns with our vision to deliver this through our Villawood communities,” said Mr Headland.

Mr Piccolo is pleased fellow sponsors from last year - Town of Gawler, Gawler Central Shopping Centre and Gawler Business Development Group - all agreed to financially support the parade and associated events again this year.

“It’s a joy to see the community come together for this event, and I’m proud to play some part in making it happen,” said Mr Piccolo.

Town of Gawler Mayor Karen Redman said, “This year will be bigger and better.”

“The whole town got behind this event and it was wonderful to see so many children and families enjoy this event - it was fabulous,” said Mayor Redman.

Gawler Business Development Group (GBDG) Chairperson Kevin Fischer said, “The [GBDG] and the businesses it represents are proud to continue its support of this community-operated event.”

“The activation and engagement that it creates for Gawler and its main street is an integral part of our role in promoting Gawler to not just its own community, but to residents from the surrounding region as a vibrant place to visit,” said Mr Fischer.

A Gawler Central Shopping Centre spokesperson said their team is “thrilled to be sponsoring the local Gawler Community Christmas Parade again this year.”

“Not only do we love Christmas at Gawler Central Shopping Centre, we love being part of the local Gawler community and really appreciate opportunities like these to give back and get involved,” said the spokesperson.

“A big congratulations to all the hard-working organisers who put in such a great effort, last year was amazing so we can’t wait to see what this year brings.”

Mr Piccolo said the parade had also attracted two new sponsors, with Gawler Mitre 10 and the Gawler Branch of Beyond Bank throwing their financial support behind the event.

Beyond Bank Community Development Manager Bronwyn Anderson said, “we’re excited to support the 2024 Gawler Community Christmas Parade.”

“For us, it’s all about community spirit and creating happy memories for the kids… and the big kids too,” Ms Anderson said.

“At Beyond Bank, we see it as our job to get involved in making communities more vibrant places to live, especially during the festive season.”

Gawler Mitre 10’s Janelle Morton said, “as a family-owned business serving the Gawler Community for over 30 years, we are excited to be a sponsor and a part of the Gawler Parade.”

“We want to be involved in sharing the joy and Christmas spirit with the locals in what is a very exciting time of the year for all ages, young and old,” Ms Morton said.

“Being a part of last year’s parade, we witnessed on several levels the positivity and happiness of the event that was bought to Gawler.

“The crowd exceeded our expectations, we had many customers talking for days about how amazing the event was and how they hoped for another in 2024.

“It was nice to see the community supporting the local business in the main street.”

For the latest news regarding this year's Villawood Gawler Christmas Parade, follow the Facebook page.

If you would like to register for the event, please fill out the following registration form - online or print-out copy