Guide Dogs Blog

A sneak peek of the Christmas Pageant magic

November 6th, 2019

As the 2019 National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant elves are busy putting the finishing touches on the floats and costumes ahead of this year’s event, our clients were treated to a sneak peek of the magic on Friday afternoon.

The Stardust Castle Touch Tour provided our clients with vision impairment the opportunity to get up close to the wide array of floats running in the pageant. This exclusive experience was made possible through our partnership with Access2Arts and the City of Adelaide.

Guided through the workshop by Pageant Director, Brian Gilbertson and audio described by Dr Jo Anchor, the group learned some interesting history about the floats and got to touch the sparkly sequins on the handmade costumes.

Nestled among long-time favourites like Nipper and Nimble, the group was also treated to a preview of two floats making their pageant debut this Saturday – Cinderella and the Mermaid.

Guide Dogs client Renata O’Boyle thoroughly enjoyed the Stardust Castle Tour with her husband, Anthony.

“It was wonderful! I’m going to tell all my friends about the crocheted seaweed on the Mermaid float,” Renata said.

Guide Dogs client Melissa Robertson said being able to touch the floats helped provide context for when she watches the pageant on television.

“The tour was great because I usually watch the pageant on TV with my family but the floats move so fast that I don’t get to see much.”

Guide Dogs client and Audio Description Coordinator at Access2Arts, Jody Holdback has attended the group tour for the last four years and says the tour “unleashes your inner child.”

“It’s really good to be able to get an idea of the actual size and magnitude of the floats. You can be told that in audio descriptions but it’s hard to comprehend how big they are.

“It’s really good to feel the costumes and the information that Brian provides is invaluable,” Jody said.

Christmas is such a magical time of year and we are looking forward to offering our clients an accessible, inclusive Christmas Pageant experience this weekend as well.  

The audio description of the pageant will be broadcast from the Metropolitan Fire Service balcony to those in the crowd and at home on Radio Adelaide from 9.30am.

A special thanks to Stardust Castle for having us and Access2Arts, The City of Adelaide and National Pharmacies for providing this magical opportunity to our clients and their families – it was so much fun!

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