FATHER CHRISTMAS has arrived in Adelaide with his reindeer and sleigh after waving at 330,000 people as part of the 85th Credit Union Christmas Pageant on the streets of South Australia's capital.
The huge bump in attendance after skies cleared overnight saw Christmas lovers young and old turn out to welcome their favourite floats back through the city's streets, exactly 85 years to the day of the very first pageant.
And just like the first Pageant in 1933, Father Christmas was waved through Rundle Mall, after boarding a special one-off car ride down the Mall and to the Magic Cave at David Jones after his sleigh arrived on North Terrace.
Once again supported by People's Choice Credit Union, Beyond Bank, Credit Union SA and Police Credit Union, the Pageant celebrated its 85th year with 85 floats touring down King William Street, Wakefield Street, Pulteney Street, Grenfell Street and North Terrace.
Volunteers from the four credit unions spent the morning dressing in colourful costumes in preparation for the big day, while hotel balconies throughout the pageant route saw interstate and overseas visitors given their own chance to wave at the clowns, fairies, dancers and musicians who brought Adelaide to life as part of the annual event.
Pageant director Brian Gilbertson said the support shown by Pageant-goers was as strong as ever, but was particularly pleased with the opportunity to welcome Father Christmas into Rundle Mall as with his first trip back in 1933.
"I thought this year's Credit Union Christmas Pageant went very well," Mr Gilbertson said.
"The delivery of Father Christmas down Rundle Mall took my breath away.
"The way people poured out of their shops and the crowds welcomed Father Christmas was reminiscent of the 1933 Pageant.
"What a way to celebrate our 85 years!"
As is tradition, Father Christmas will call the Magic Cave at David Jones home every day until Christmas Day.