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Celebrate Christmas Waihetian-style

23 November 2005

Celebrate Christmas Waihetian-style

Santa Claus, marching bands, and even a vintage fire engine are appearing at the free Waiheke Christmas Festival on 10-11 December. Auckland City is inviting families to join in the festivities and make the most of the bumper weekend of community events.

The celebrations kick off on Saturday morning from 9am-noon as the Ostend markets get people into the festive spirit with a special Christmas theme.

Saturday afternoon sees Santa and Mary Claus making a grand entrance to Oneroa village in a vintage fire engine for the Waiheke Santa Parade. They will be joining a flotilla of floats locals have been preparing for months.

Auckland City event organiser, Linda Deverell, says there's still room for more floats in the parade.

"I encourage the whole community to get into the festive spirit and get involved in the parade. Entry is free and there are great prizes to be won by entering, including gifts from a variety of Waiheke businesses," she says.

Locals are advised that Ocean View Road will be closed from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday during the Santa Parade, and all cars should be removed before 1pm. The Waiheke Bus Company are offering a free deal to coincide with the parade, with kids travelling free to the parade with a fare-paying adult.

The Santa Parade will be followed by the Artworks Community Theatre's 'Children's Santa Party' at the Artworks Complex.

On Sunday families can head along to Carols by Candlelight which starts at 7pm at St Peter's Catholic Church. The Christmas carols will run for an hour at the church and then proceed to Oneroa Beach Reserve.

Waiheke Christmas Festival programme:

* Ostend Christmas theme markets, Saturday 10 December, 9am-noon

* Waiheke Santa Parade, Saturday 10 December, 2pm, Oneroa village (raindate Sunday 11 December, 11am)

* Artworks Community Theatre's 'Children's Santa Party' at the Artworks Complex will follow the Santa Parade on Saturday.

* Carols by Candlelight, Sunday 11 December 7pm-8pm St Peters Church 8pm-9.30pm Little Oneroa Beach Reserve (rain venue Te Huruhi Primary School Hall).


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