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Tuesday 4 December, 2018
Christmas in Ashburton officially kicked off with the lighting of the town's giant Christmas tree at Baring Square East this past Friday (30 November) for a second year in a row. The family-friendly event attracted both young and the not so young who enjoyed live musical performances, entertainment, food, a special visit from Santa Claus, and the dramatic countdown to end the night with the lighting of the giant Christmas tree by Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel.
The event, Light Up the Night presented by EA Networks, was part of Ashburton's inaugural 'Nights of Lights' Christmas festival this year. It featured musical performances by the Ashburton Silver Band, the Ashburton Pipe Band and the Christchurch City Chorus. Mitchell Farr with the Big Little Theatre Company and the Court Jesters' roaming Santa and Elves provided entertainment throughout the night.
Food and refreshments were provided by The Food Den, Pita Pit, Lil Orbits, Mr Whippy and the Coffee Lady.
"It was great to see so many from our community come out to take part in the celebrations," said Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel. "I saw many smiling faces, singalongs, dancing, and just overall joy on what was a beautiful festive, fun-filled evening."
The event was well staffed thanks to the generous volunteer support from the Ashburton County Lions, the Ashburton Youth Council, and the Zonta Club of Ashburton. The event was made possible in partnership with supporting sponsors EA Networks (the presenting sponsor), Spraymarks, Kennards Hire, Ashburton Trust Event Centre, Mitre 10 Mega, and Multi-Cultural Bite.
A complete photo album capturing the night is available on the Ashburton District Council Facebook page @AshburtonDC and the Council website ashburtondc.govt.nz/nightsoflights
The upcoming 'Ashburton Nights of Lights' events happening in Baring Square East each Friday evening are: Buskers Night presented by The Ashburton Guardian and Ashburton App on 7 and 21 December, beginning at 6.30pm; Movie Night presented by Farmers Ashburton, showcasing an outdoor screening of How The Grinch Stole Christmas on 14 December; and Festive Walk presented by Four Seasons Treecare Ltd, featuring art installations and trees decorated with fairy lights along East Street walkway, available from 30 November until 4 January.