Ashburton's festive joy will begin this Friday evening (30 November) at the town's annual lighting of the Christmas tree event, Light Up the Night presented by EA Networks.
The event, which now launches the district's inaugural 'Nights of Lights' Christmas festival, will see performances, Christmas carols, activities and food on offer at Baring Square East from 6.00pm, before Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel lights the giant Christmas tree. The free family friendly event will include a parade and a visit from the man in red himself, Santa Claus, who will be available for photos.
Local radio personality, Peter Mac and Carol Johns from Hokonui FM will MC the event. The line-up for the night will include Christchurch City Chorus, Ashburton Silver Band, Ashburton Pipe Band and members from The Big Little Theatre Company, who will perform on the Spraymarks Stage.
"Christmas is a special time of year to rejoice with our friends and family, and what better way to celebrate the arrival of the festive season than at our district's official lighting of the Christmas tree," Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel says. "Light Up the Night presented by EA Networks is set to bring a magical and traditional touch to town, and we'd love to see the community come together to enjoy the festivities."
Festival-goers will be able to purchase food from Lil Orbits, Pita Pit, The Food Den, Mr Whippy and The Coffee Lady throughout the evening.
Light Up the Night presented by EA Networks is the first event to kick off the district's 'Nights of Lights' Christmas festival, which has been organised by the Ashburton District Council in partnership with local businesses. Every Friday evening from 30 November until 21 December, Baring Square East will come to life for a series of events and activities designed to ignite Ashburton's Christmas spirit.
The event is made possible thanks to additional supporting sponsors Kennards Ashburton, Ashburton Trust Event Centre, Mitre 10 Mega Ashburton and Multi-Cultural Bite. For more information about 'Ashburton Nights of Lights', visit ashburtondc.govt.nz/nightsoflights and follow the Ashburton District Council Facebook page @AshburtonDC.
The following Friday after Light Up the Night presented by EA Networks (7 December), a Buskers Night presented by The Ashburton Guardian and Ashburton App, will take over the Square, and again on 21 December. An outdoor screening of How The Grinch Stole Christmas at Movie Night presented by Farmers Ashburton, will take place on 14 December. From 30 November until 4 January, residents will also be able to enjoy a Festive Walk presented by Four Seasons Treecare Ltd, every night along the East Street walkway.