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Festival to light up Greytown

The Festival of Christmas will light up Greytown this week. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Greytown’s much anticipated Festival of Christmas is gearing up for a show that is sure to wow all generations.

Using state-of-the-art electronic lighting displays, some of the landmark buildings in the centre of the South Wairarapa town will come to life every evening of the month-long festival.

The Festival of Christmas officially opens on Friday at 7pm with The Big Switch, when the lights on Main St will be turned on simultaneously.

It will signal the beginning of a packed programme of events, including interactive family activities, night markets, workshops, Christmas parties and other celebrations.

A feature of the festival will be the dazzling visual display transmitted on to four heritage buildings: Blackwell and Sons, Emporos, The Design Library [in Stella Bull Park], and The White Swan.

This lighting will turn on at 5pm every evening in July, from this Saturday.

Audiovisual expert and Lumen AV director Mike Green said the buildings were the “perfect canvas”, and had ornate detailing to create “stunning visual displays”.

Using special software, each building frontage is meticulously mapped to create numerous surfaces that are populated with animated content to make a slide which is typically 30-40 seconds long.

This process is repeated until enough slides have been generated to put a show together.

This is then beamed on to the building frontage through large projectors.

Other lighting special effects will include falling snowflakes in the square at the front of the town hall, and super bright coloured wireless up-lights that will be popping up in different locations during the weekends.

There will also be 160 metres of festoon lighting to create a magical environment for people to walk around the night markets and the square in the evenings.

The Festival of Christmas is the brainchild of the business group Country Village Heaven.

The event was introduced last year to help boost the region’s covid-hit retail and hospitality sector.

Country Village Heaven spokesman Adam Blackwell said even if the Wellington region was in Level 2 restrictions, nearly all the events, workshops, and activities in the festival programme can go ahead.

There is a bumper list of activities during the opening weekend of the festival, including: Matariki Art in the Park, A Woolly Good Christmas at Cobblestones, Oyster Saloon with Martin Bosley, Matariki workshops and poi making, The Festival of Christmas Outdoor Night Market, The Christmas Jumper Party, and the Sunrise Heritage Walks for the early risers on Sunday morning.

  • To find out more and buy tickets, visit greytownvillage.com.

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