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Festival of Christmas confirmed

The region’s most popular mid-winter event is gearing up for another season.

Greytown’s Festival of Christmas organisers have confirmed it will be back this year, with the full programme to be unveiled soon.

The festival started in 2020 as a pandemic initiative and has become one of Wairarapa’s biggest annual events, attracting more than 50,000 in 2023.

The now-annual family-friendly festival won the Supreme Award at the 2023 Wairarapa Awards. The accolade recognises and celebrates stand-out businesses, organisations, and events across the region.

Greytown’s Country Village Heaven trustee Nick Rogers said sponsorship support from the community helped secure the event this year.

“We know how important this festival is for the vibrancy and wellbeing of our community, as well as our region’s economy, so it’s been really heartening to receive donations from locals and attendees from all around New Zealand who want it to continue,” Rogers said.

“We’re especially thankful for the support of Trust House and Greytown Trust Lands Trust, who both came through with sizeable donations, enabling us to keep the festival alive.”

Organisers are now focussing on the festival programme.

The 2024 theme is Fire and Ice, inspiring new events and activities. People can also expect the return of previous favourite activities for all ages.

“The festival is always centred around spectacular lighting, which creates a real ‘wow’ factor, so that will continue. Snowfall on Main St was overwhelmingly popular last year, so we’re bringing back the snow. Cocktails and comedy, European style night markets, the pop-up Gin and Spice Bar, and fireworks will also make a comeback, as will live performers and entertainers throughout Main St. It’s special being able to showcase the incredible talent we have here,” Rogers said.

The programme for this year’s festival will be launched on May 3. In the meantime, organisers want people to tell their out-of-town friends and family to visit in July. The 2024 Festival of Christmas kicks off on June 29 for a month with lights going on in the ‘Big Switch’. A grand finale on July 27 will bring the curtain down. More information is at www.greytownvillage.com

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