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Santa makes a popular comeback to Lower Hutt


After the ‘mysterious’ disappearance of Christmas in the Park from the region a few years ago, charitable trust DestinationHutt had an opportunity to revive the popular event and did so this year.

The December the 7th date made an ideal day as it fell exactly between the Auckland and Christchurch, televised Coca Cola in the park productions which have both gained in popularity over the years.

DestinationHutt chair Phil Sprey stated that while there are Christmas event and activities across the region, many people had lamented the loss of a bigger event and the traditional approach of the past and parents had been in touch with the organisation in overwhelming numbers supporting the revival.

“We were fortunate as we were already planning the large charity event ‘The Worlds Big Sleep Out’ which is in the same place on the same day, we had the stages, equipment and a number of artists who were joining us so to add this special free family event to the front of the entertainment became an opportunity we could ignore.”

As it’s location is in McEwan Park, Marine Parade in Petone and is in the early evening it was decided to aptly name the event Santa@Sunset. There are 6 stages, huge video screens, food vendors and ample parking.

With MC comedian Greg Ellis the line-up of artist includes Money of Old Rope – a classic over band, Kids from the Goodtime Music Academy, Phoebe Rose Osborne and upcoming opera singer supported by Orchestra Wellington as is Gareth Barker who has a Michael Buble croon. Steely DNA, and a special Christmas song from Sol3Mio via satellite, DogTown a pop-rock band from the Capital, Nathan King (ZED), Mieke and Kaylpso a unique duo from the Hutt, Tim Brown and Caramello Blues, Vox Ethno a Balkan Folk ensemble, The famous BeatGirls, plus Santa of course. As a special bonus, Richard Taylor is presenting a children’s bedtime story being filmed at WETA Workshop.

All the above are donating their time and talent as are the host of sponsors, most from the Hutt area who have been extraordinarily generous to make this event part of an exciting day.

The Santa@Sunset starts at 6pm on Saturday Dec 7 and concludes at 8:45pm when the younger audience will make way for the Worlds Big Sleep Out which starts at 9.

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