Thousands of people flooded St Georges Terrace to catch a glimpse of the North Pole’s most famous resident during the 52nd Alinta Energy Christmas Pageant. A crowd of about 50,000 watched on as almost 100 different groups paraded along the terrace between King Street and Victoria Avenue. This included 22 floats and over 50 walking groups, a mixture of dancers, musical acts, acrobatics and choir groups. The pageant kicked off with a traditional Aboriginal dance group, a float — a new addition this year — followed behind, with a didgeridoo playing beneath a mini eucalyptus tree. 7News Reporters Angela Tsun and Tim McMillan hosted the pageant while Fat Cat was a major drawcard for the children along with that guy who brings all the presents. 7News reporter Matt Tinney dressed as The Mad Hatter, alongside Jerrie Demasi dressed as Jasmine from Aladdin. Eagles legend and 7News sports personality Ben Cousins stirred some Christmas cheer in a teacup with his two children. Amongst the roving acts were the WA Fire and Emergency Services concert band, a Spudshed float with Tony Galati and Santa’s workshop. Even Batman, a Batmobile and a Star Wars group brought some added hero power to the parade. Despite the pageant boasting some of WA’s most recognisable faces, there was a clear favourite among the crowd of smiling faces — Santa Claus. Squeals of excitement filled the streets as Father Christmas rolled through. Families travelled from far and wide for the event and waited in eager anticipation for a glimpse of the big man in red. Fat Cat came in his big red car, joined by three dancers from the Jody Marshall Dance Company. India Sherriff, Millie Clemesha and Macey Goodall have joined Fat Cat on the float for the past three years. “We’re super keen, we love him, he’s entertaining,” Millie said. “He’s a childhood icon and basically has been there our whole childhood.” Nyabing mother Natasha Harris and her children have made the trip to Perth to see the pageant for two years in a row. “We drive three-and-a-half hours from the country,” she said. “It’s a massive event, we have nothing like this at home, so it’s a special family event for us. The kids want to come see Santa and his elves.” Her children said they were going to “jump up and down in the air” when they see the man in the red suit. Kumar Deep travelled from Carnarvon every year with his wife Aditi and six-year-old son Yuvaan. “It’s really special, a great way to start off the festive season,” he said. “It’s a celebration together, for every religion and culture to come together. My son is really looking forward to seeing Santa and he’s behaving for Santa.” Dad Jesse Humberstone said his son Asher would be “ecstatic” when he saw Santa. One pageant-goer said her family’s Christmas excitement grows after the pageant. “The kids scream when they see Santa, they get super excited for Christmas from here on,” she said. “And they love seeing Fat Cat and all the hula hoop girls. “It’s a nice atmosphere, it’s a start to the Christmas season,” they said. and we like seeing all the lights as well.” Mum Caitlyn Stewart said her three-year-old son Hudson will go “super crazy” for Santa. “He’s been on his best behaviour, he realised today that there’s a naughty and nice list,” she said. Supported by Channel 7 and The West Australian, the City of Perth and RAC, the pageant first ran in 1972.