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John Martin's bring Father Christmas to Adelaide
Title : John Martin's bring Father Christmas to Adelaide John Martin's bring Father Christmas to Adelaide
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Source : Advertiser, 18 November 1933, p. 1
Date of creation : 1933
Format : Newspaper
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Advertisement for the first Christmas pageant, held on 18 November 1933. Includes map of pageant route.

In the lead-up to the first John Martin's Christmas pageant in 1933, the department store ran a clever marketing campaign in both The Advertiser and on radio stations 5AD and 5DN.

The campaign began with a message in one of their advertisements suggesting readers 'Listen in to the children's news service 5AD, 5.45. Novelty broadcast dealing with Father Christmas in his flight across the World to the 'Magic Cave''  (The Advertiser, 7 November 1933, p. 1).

A series of updates followed in the press and on radio keeping interested children up to date on Father Christmas' progress as he made his way to Adelaide.

According to advertisements printed in The Advertiser in the week leading up to the pageant:
Father Christmas left the North Pole and arrived in London on 11 November.
He then travelled to Constantinople, where he met up with and collected the Old woman who lived in a shoe and a drum major.
His next stop was Bombay, where he captured Sambo the monkey.
He continued on to Cape Cambodia where 'there was a wonderful scene when 'Nimble', the giant rocking horse, majestically flew in from the clouds and met Father Christmas and the other Fairy Book folk on the aeroplane.'
His final stop before arriving in Adelaide was in Darwin on 17 November, where he collected a giant butterfly.

On the morning of the pageant John Martin's hired a pilot to fly over the suburbs of Adelaide dressed as Father Christmas. From his plane he announced over a loud speaker 'Father Christmas is arriving in Adelaide this morning'.

As a result of such a canny campaign, the first pageant was very well attended with tens of thousands of people crowding the streets to welcome Father Christmas and his friends to town.

Related names :

John Martin & Co.

Coverage year : 1933
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :
'60th John Martin's State Bank Christmas pageant 1933-1993', Sunday Mail, 31 October 1993, 24 p. supp.

Adelaide's once-a-year day, Adelaide: Commercial Printing House, 1978.

'Street pageant delights crowd', Advertiser, 20 November 1933, p. 16.

A touch of magic [videorecording] : [the story behind the Christmas Pageant], West Lakes?, S. Aust. : Cine News Productions, 1993.

Internet links :
Credit Union Christmas pageant

John Martin's first pageant: 1933 [State Library of South Australia]



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