The NF McDonnell & Sons Mount Gambier Christmas Parade is a truly iconic event within the community. Most residents of Mount Gambier have been part of its annual event at some stage in their lives.
The Parade is sponsored by NF McDonnell & Sons and is managed by a community based Advisory Group of enthusiastic volunteers.
Some of the favourite floats include: Christmas in Toy Town, Pirates 'R' Us, Bill the Steam Shovel, Hansel & Gretel, The Christmas Tree, Christmas Stars, and of course the Christmas Stocking with Father Christmas at the end of the parade.
Many local community groups and schools create colourful and entertaining floats. They compete for prizes judged on creativity and effort in building the most impressive floats. Three judges score the floats in the various categories. The City of Mount Gambier holds a presentation night to award the winners with a framed certificate and generous prize money.
The other great feature of the Mount Gambier Christmas Parade is the inclusion of the annual Blue Lake Brass Band Festival delivered by Lions Club of Mount Gambier. This event attracts high quality brass bands from around Australia. Many bands come back year after year as it is one of the few times they get to March and play in front of such a large and appreciative audience.
The Mount Gambier Christmas Parade is always held on the third Saturday of November. The next parade is scheduled for 11:00am on Saturday, 17th November 2018.