Christchurch earthquake abandoned gymnasium turns into Santa mega grotto

There's a whole lot of Christmas magic being sprinkled in an earthquake abandoned gymnasium in the Christchurch suburb of Burwood.

The Christchurch Santa parade snaked its way through the city every December for 73 years but like many events in 2020, COVID-19's brought it to a screeching halt.

Anne Jamieson, the Christchurch Santa Parade Trust chair, says a solution had to be sought.

"After we cancelled we felt so bad and felt like we were killing Christmas for the kids, so we came up with a grotto."

Not just any grotto, Santa's mega grotto is complete with 42 parade floats and the big jolly fella himself.

Santa was in hot demand with Christmas wish lists on Thursday, with the array of brightly coloured festive floats also proving popular. Visitors were marvelling at just how large the floats are.

"I remember going to the parade when I was a kid," Jamieson says. "Watching their little faces in awe, it's just great."

Watch the full story above.