History

The idea was first thought up in 1984 by Rosemary Heywood, who owned a children’s shop, “Gingerbread House” which, at Christmas, housed Santa Clause. It was from here that she decided to put Father Christmas on a sleigh and take him through Buckingham High Street. A Guide leader, Mrs Dancer, hearing of the event, offered her Guides to make a float. This idea was also copied by a second Guide Troop. Rosemary owned a coach company and a coach was sent all the way to Bristol to bring in and return a Scout band. Many people still have memories of this band terminating the Parade in the Town’s “Bullring” when thousands and thousands of bubbles were released to the tune of “I’m forever blowing bubbles”. Hundreds of people lined the route and everyone enjoyed the spectacle. Rosemary’s husband, Steve, helped to organise the event.

However, due to the hard work involved this was only to be a one-off and the following year, 1985, nothing happened. Rosemary and Steve came “under attack” for months and were virtually forced into renewing the event the following Christmas, 1986. Much work was done and fund-raising events were held throughout the year to finance the Parade. Rosemary organised begging letters to be sent from her office to companies in the town. Costs were high since bands and professional artists had to be paid and prize money obtained. This went on throughout the eighties and, as time progressed, the Parade got larger and larger and the crowds increased. At the time Rosemary and Steve were highly involved in the newly-revived Buckingham Chamber of Trade, Commerce and Industry. The Chamber took the Parade on board to help raise money for the event.

Unfortunately the late eighties/early nineties saw the recession and companies who had given sponsorship found that they were unable to carry on. The Parade was now in jeopardy. New ideas were sought for but none were forthcoming. It came to a point when it was announced in the local press that the event would have to be terminated.

The Town Council responded and said that provided the organisers would continue they would fund the whole occasion for the benefit of the town. This they have done over the years and, as the Parade has grown it has brought a great deal of pleasure and the townspeople look forward each year to the event.