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Ponsonby Xmas party proves popular

20 December 2005

Ponsonby Xmas party proves popular

On Friday night, thousands of Aucklanders flocked to the suburb renowned for its style, artistic flair and eclectic lifestyles to experience Christmas Ponsonby-style and take advantage of the one-off late night shopping. The Ponsonby Xmas Festival, now in its second year, is a free event produced by Auckland City with the support and participation of local businesses and residents.

There was plenty of Christmas cheer with three entertainment hubs and the fun and revelry extending right up Ponsonby Road with the carnival sounds of AK Samba, strolling carollers, street theatre, clowns, stilt walkers, and live bands. Auckland City event organiser, Meredyth Morgan, says: "It was great to see so many people getting into the Christmas spirit and enjoying the evening despite the threatening weather.

There's a real groundswell of support now and I think the event will gain momentum every year. "New elements introduced to the event like the Auckland Mandolinata Orchestra, unicycle stuntmen and a crazy waiter who entertained restaurant patrons with his festive antics all proved to be real crowd pleasers", says Ms Morgan. AK Samba was back by popular demand, and their high-energy Brazilian rhythms were such a hit with the crowd that the band played for half an hour after the event finished.

The Mexican Mariachis were also back this year, entertaining on the street and serenading restaurant-goers. The "Divine diva" drag queens and Santa Claus with the "Ho Ho Hos" topped off the night's festivities. Meg Crawford from Ponsonby Road Promotions, a key supporter of the event, says: "It was great to have the support of over 90 per cent of retailers staying open late along Ponsonby Road and around into Jervois Road.

We're thrilled with the buzz the event has created and the retailers are really pleased with how successful the late night shopping was for them." Ponsonby Xmas Festival is one of more than 60 free events produced by Auckland City as part of its Ak@Play summer events programme. It is proudly sponsored by Metromedia, Ponsonby Road Promotions, Solid Gold 93.4FM, RadioLive 100.6FM and Western Bays Community Board. Anyone interested in sponsoring or performing in the 2006 Ponsonby Xmas

ENDS

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