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Blast from the past

Listen out for the Christmassy sound of a brass band belting out carols in Masterton neighbourhoods next month, reviving an old tradition.

On three Thursday evenings – December 7, 14 and 21 – the Masterton District Brass Band will be a travelling carol band, transported on a truck provided by Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton.

The band will stop on different residential streets for 15 minutes each per night, between 6pm and 8pm, band spokesperson Narissa Knight said.

“Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton has organised this for the Masterton community. It’s an effort to get Christmas events back up and running after so many were paused due to covid-19.”

Pre-Christmas traditionally means a packed schedule for the band, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.

“While other organisations start winding down for the year, it gets busy for us,” Knight said.

The band will be playing carols outside supermarkets, performing from 5pm before Masterton’s Christmas tree lights are turned on in the town square on Thursday, November 30 and of course, will be marching in Christmas parades.

“We will also play at rest homes on Mondays and hope to perform at the farmers’ markets before Christmas,” Knight said.

Hot weather will be a little more bearable while carrying large instruments, as the band has new short-sleeved polo shirts as an alternative to their traditional heavy woollen red jackets.

Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton events co-ordinator Sam Matuszek said the travelling carols next month are a throwback to past decades including the 1970s, when the brass band did the same around Masterton.

“One of our owners came up with the idea of reviving it,” she said. “To make things more exciting, Santa will be following the flat-bed band truck in his sleigh.”

Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton will run a special Christmas event instore on December 14 from 3pm-6pm, with Santa magically appearing yet again on December 20-23 from 11am-2pm.

Meanwhile, the Very Carterton Christmas community carols event returns to Carrington Park straight after the town’s afternoon Christmas parade on Sunday, December 10.

Kicking off with the Wairarapa Youth Orchestra and a parade prizegiving, celebrity Nick Tansley will then lead the carols.

“We have Carterton and South End kindies, Carterton Playcentre, Idea Services, Keep Carterton Beautiful and In-motion Dance School jumping up on stage to join Nick and the band for a boogie and a sing,” organiser Lou Newman said.

“We have free kids face painting and nail polish, ice cream, candyfloss, bake sales, BBQs, food trucks and Santa and for a gold coin donation to the Carterton Indoor Pool project, you can DIY a pic with Santa on your phone.”

The carols event is free, but a Giving Tree will be set up for those who can bring non-perishable food for the Carterton Foodbank.

See the Masterton District Brass Band march in the following Christmas parades: Masterton on Saturday, December 2 from 12.30pm [Queen St from Countdown to Farriers]; Greytown on Saturday, December 16 from 1.30pm [East St] and Carterton on Sunday, December 10 from 3pm [Belvedere Rd, High St, Wakelin St].

Parades are also taking place in Featherston on Saturday, December 9 from 12pm and Martinborough on Saturday, December 9 from 5pm.

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