Every Friday evening from the end of November until 20 December, the town's Christmas spirit will come to life in Baring Square East with a series of events - Light Up the Night, two Buskers Nights, Movie Night and a Festive Walk.
Light Up the Night, presented by EA Networks will feature all of the family fun of previous years, with Christmas carols, food trucks, a special visit from Santa and the countdown to the lighting of the giant Christmas tree, but this year there's even more in store.
In addition to a Kids Zone with bouncy castles and face painting sponsored by Hokonui FM, every person who attends Light Up the Night will go into the draw to win exciting Christmas gifts throughout the evening.
The gifts, which include bikes, scooters, barbecues, wireless headphones and even gaming consoles are being made available thanks to a partnership between the Council and local businesses.
"We are proud to be working with a number of very generous local businesses to help residents share in the spirit of giving this festive season," Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown says. "Christmas is about people coming together, and it's a great show of community spirit to have our retailers getting behind this sentiment for residents to enjoy."
The event begins at 6.30pm, with the gifts drawn throughout the evening starting at 7pm. People are encouraged to arrive on time to secure their free tickets and distribute them amongst the three gift categories on offer: kids, teens and adults. Presents from each category will be drawn every 30 minutes and winners must be in attendance to claim their prize.
The Festive Walk, presented by Four Seasons Treecare Ltd will be launched on the night along East Street, and it is set to be even bigger than last year with trees from Cameron Street to Moore Street all lighting up.
A number of retailers will also extend their opening hours on the night for people to do their Christmas shopping.
The following Friday (6 December), Ashburton's local talent will perform at the first of two Buskers Nights, presented by The Ashburton Courier. The second Buskers Night will take place on 20 December.
A special outdoor screening of the 2003 Christmas classic, 'Elf' will take over the Square on 13 December at Movie Night, presented by More FM. Food will be available from Kettle Corn, Aoraki Lil Orbit Donuts, Pop Up Playground, The Rolling Pedlar, Fritz Wieners and The Food Den to help complete the movie experience.
"Christmas is special time of year to spend with friends and family, and Ashburton Nights of Lights is set to be fantastic family-friendly festival to bring people together and celebrate the holiday spirit," Mayor Brown added.
For more information about Ashburton Nights of Lights and each of the events, visit nightsoflights.nz