interactLearn English Story   Christmas Pageant - Childhood Dream
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PETA ASTBURY: It was always a dream of mine to be in the Christmas pageant because every little girl wants to ride Nipper and Nimble. Back in the days when I was a little kid, John Martins used to sponsor the Christmas pageant and to be in the Christmas pageant, you had to know someone who worked there and I didn't, so I missed out.

These days, it's owned and managed by Events South Australia, and it's sponsored by the Credit Unions of SA. I was invited this year to be in the Christmas pageant by a friend of mine - Brett. He's been in so many pageants because his dad works at the Police Credit Union, which is one of the sponsors of the pageant. He always knew that it was a childhood dream of mine to be in the pageant, so when his wife was pregnant this year and she couldn't be in the pageant, I took her place. I was really excited. His wife and his sister were so jealous that I got to be with Nimble.

The whole pageant process starts off by filling out an application letter, and then you have to put in your weight and your height, your hair colour, your eye colour, all that sort of stuff. This letter here is going to tell me which float I'm with at the Christmas pageant. Oh! I'm with Nimble!

Then the next thing is that you go for a dress fitting. I'm here in Adelaide and it's early morning, and I'm at Police Credit Union and I'm here for the rehearsals of the Adelaide Christmas Pageant. So here we go.

MAN: You're effectively forming a guard of honour. These are sort of mini princesses - the ones on the Nimble and the Nipper. Nimble and Nipper are incredibly famous.

PETA ASTBURY: You just go through a brief run-through of what you need to do on the day.

MAN: That's how easy it is because you become enamoured with the crowd.

PETA ASTBURY: And then you have today, which is the big day. I've taken being in the pageant very, very seriously because I think it's such a huge, huge honour. In my preparation, I've done things like do push-ups, so my arm wouldn't get sore when I wave all that way down King William Street. Last night, I was up practising walking and waving because it's really harder than you think. And I also had my hair done last night.

This morning, I had to be here at 6:00am, which is normally really, really hard for me because I'm not a morning person. But this morning I just jumped out of bed because it was almost like Christmas morning. I was so, so excited. So it's Christmas pageant morning and I'm here and I'm just about to check in and get changed, so here we go.

Now that I've got my costume on, I'm going to go over here and get make-up done. So now I'm all ready to go. I might just get a little bit of breakfast and a coffee, I think, and then I'm sort of free to wander around until about nine o'clock.

To be in the Christmas pageant was always a childhood dream of mine because it was always so magical. I used to sit glued to the TV, watching the Christmas pageant, wishing I could be one of the fairies or, better yet, be one of the little girls riding Nipper or Nimble. Back then, the pageant used to be closer to Christmas too, so we used to always put up our Christmas tree while watching the pageant. I used to live in the bush, so I never actually got to watch a live pageant until I was 10, and it's even better than watching it on TV.

I don't mind getting dressed up like this for the pageant because for a little moment, I can pretend I'm a princess or a fairy and I've always wanted to do this and it's going to make a lot of people happy, especially me. The first float to leave from the Christmas pageant is the SA Mounted Police, and they leave from just up the road at 9:45am. Then we just wait until it's our turn. My float is number 31. It goes Queen of the Fairies, Nipper, Pageant Queen, Nimble, and then there's about another 45 floats and then you get the big guy - Father Christmas.

I'm really looking forward to seeing all the looks on the kids' faces. They're going to be so excited and that's what we're here for after all. And because I'm with one of the most favourite floats in the pageant, everyone's going to be looking at us. After the pageant finishes, we have to come back here and get changed, and this will mean that the Christmas pageant is over again for another year, and this is going to be kind of sad for me because I know I probably won't ever be in another Christmas pageant again. But I kind of think I'll always have these memories to treasure forever.
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