NZ’s biggest Christmas celebrations
Auckland City Council
19 November, 2008
NZ’s biggest Christmas celebrations happening in the heart of Auckland city
Get into the Christmas spirit in the heart of Auckland from 21 November as new decorations and entertainment bring the city centre to life during New Zealand’s biggest festive season celebrations.
Christmas in the City is a joint project by Auckland City Council and the Heart of the City (the business association for CBD retailers) to create a festive spirit in the CBD and encourage Aucklanders to visit the city centre.
“Aucklanders told us they wanted to create some buzz and excitement about Christmas in the CBD and last year we really stepped up and made this happen. This year the celebrations continue to grow with even more decorations and events planned for everyone to enjoy,” says Councillor Greg Moyle, chairperson of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee.
“This year’s impressive new instalment is a giant Christmas tree constructed on KZ1 in the Viaduct Harbour. Standing at over 50m tall, it will be a sight to be seen both day and night.”
Other decorations include giant baubles, Christmas lights, angels, giant red spirals, banners and wreaths and festive green lighting of Queen Street’s Nikau palms, plus Santa’s post box in QE Square.
A new Christmas in the City feature event, the Big Weekend, is happening on the weekend of 13 – 14 December.
“As NZ’s biggest city we need to deliver a Christmas experience that combines both traditional and modern elements and sets us well and truly apart from the suburbs and the malls,” says Alex Sweny, chief executive of Heart of the City.
The Big Weekend line up includes live on-stage entertainment in Freyberg Square, roving Christmas performers, a Christmas cake competition between CBD hotels with cakes being auctioned, and a gift wrapping record setting attempt. All proceeds going to the City Mission.
Shop at one of the participating city retailers during the Big Weekend, spend $20 and be in with the chance to win the ‘ultimate city experience’, a prize package worth over $10,000. All the details can be found at www.biglittlecity.co.nz.
Shoppers can take advantage of the free hop-on, hop-off big red City Circuit bus to get to all the great shops and festive activities across the CBD, while drivers can enjoy two hours of free parking at three Auckland City Council car park buildings in the CBD during the Big Weekend.
Other events unique to the CBD leading up to Christmas include:
• Farmers Santa Parade, Sunday 30
• Smith and Caughey’s magical Christmas windows from 13 November, and Santa’s grotto from 3 December
• John Mellencamp at Vector Arena - 3 December
• Kylie Minogue at Vector Arena – 8 and 9 December
• The BIG Santa Race - 10 December
• Coca Cola Christmas in the Park – 13 December
• Billy Joel in Concert – 14 December
For a full list of Christmas activities in the CBD, go to www.biglittlecity.co.nz and visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/events for more information on community Christmas events.