Release: Shine Kaikohe!
The very first “Shine Kaikohe” festival will begin with the official lighting of the largest and grandest community Christmas tree ever to be lit up in Northland! Celebrations around the around the tree will begin at 6pm. As night falls an interdenominational church blessing will signal the official lighting up the tree, carols by candle light and the beginning of the 7 week festival of goodwill and community pride.
The main street of Kaikohe will be decorated by eye-catching Christmas flags, locally made bows and lights.
Santa’s grotto will be one of the spectacular features of the festival. A local shop will be filled with Christmas trees placed and decorated by schools and community groups. Under the most auspicious tree will be presents donated for children of prison inmates as part of Angel Tree ministry. This initiative aims to help change a child's life by giving them a Christmas they'll never forget! Kelly Van Galen from the Kaikohe Community Arts Council says, “Creating the Santa’s grotto and Christmas forest is going to be really fun and creative event, the end result will be ‘Christmas magic’ and I’m sure it will bring out the inner child out all of us.” The team are presently taking auditions for a Santa who can sit at certain times, some one very jolly and who likes children.
A spectacular life-sized, interactive nativity scene on the main street is bound to catch the eye! The public can get up close and actually be part of it. Each week the scene will be added to and changed to depict the story of the birth of Christ.
On December the 8th the famous Kaikohe Christmas parade will thrill local residents and visitors alike. This year’s theme is ‘Animal and Bird World’ and a bumper amount of colourful and exquisite floats are expected. Parade organiser Ngaire Powdrill says, “We looking at all kinds of races prior to the parade, fun activities, stalls and entertainment.”
During the festival churches, marae, community groups and schools are encouraged to register their own festival events through the community website www.kaikohe.co.nz
Families and homes will also be invited to get right into the spirit of the festival by entering the nationwide Best Christmas Lights in New Zealand Competition. Last year First prize was a $1000 "Flexilight NZ Prize Pack". Second prize was a $500 "Flexilight NZ Prize Pack" and third prize was also a $500 "Flexilight NZ Prize Pack". More details to come from sponsors for this year’s competition.
The Shine Kaikohe festival is being organised by a committee of the Kaikohe Projects Promotions Charitable Trust and is sponsored by the Oxford Trust, Pub Charities and other community groups. There is plenty of room other sponsors, donors and volunteers to come on board. Several individuals and community groups have indicated that they will be on hand to decorate the tree and set up the other displays. The purpose of the festival is to generate goodwill, community pride and positivity.
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Picture Caption: Santa Leif Pakai and Alf the Elf Blundell in last year’s Christmas parade with the proposed community Christmas tree in the background.