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Greytown is buzzing with excitement as the much-anticipated Festival of Christmas event gears up for its grand return this weekend – promising a month-long programme of lights, music, workshops, markets, and midwinter fun for all ages.

Marking the festival’s official opening on Saturday July 1, from 3pm onwards, the town will come to life with the WBS Big Switch and a fireworks display.

The town’s buildings will be illuminated by mapped-out lights, creating a “beautiful visual spectacle”.

Event manager Rachael Fletcher enthusiastically described the lights as “world-class projections” that are guaranteed to be “Instagrammable” and emphasised that the entire town – rather than just a few shops – will be lit up.

Reflecting on last year’s festivities – a staggering success that approximately 50,000 people attended – Fletcher recalls “watching everyone come out of their houses when the fireworks went off”.

“I’m tearing up now just thinking about it.”

“At a time where people are concerned with the cost of living, there’s something to do for everyone, at no cost,” marketing manager Barbara Hyde added.

“This little town has helped itself in the middle of a pandemic.”

Free, family-friendly activities for this year’s festival, include nightly lights and projection displays on Main St, a “Winter Wonderland” at Stella Bull Park, a Matariki-themed outdoor art exhibition, and a showcase of buskers and street performers at Greytown Town Centre.

Schools and preschools around the region have received snowflake ornaments to decorate, with the opportunity to hang them on the Community Christmas Tree, in the middle of town, on opening night. Also predicted to excite young visitors is the Showcase Snowfall on Main St – which will create a snow flurry, set to lights and music, using a snowflake generator.

“I’m so pleased to be able to bring this concept of snow in Greytown alive with the special snowflake generator,” Millie Blackwell, chief executive of event sponsor Showcase Workshop, said. “The beautiful snowflakes create a magic selfie opportunity. It’s very visual, but it doesn’t leave snow on the ground or slippery ice everywhere.” Greytown is buzzing with excitement as the much-anticipated Festival of Christmas event gears up for its grand return this July – promising a month-long programme of lights, music, workshops, markets, and midwinter fun for all ages.

Marking the festival’s official opening on Saturday, July 1, from 3pm onwards, the town will come to life with the WBS Big Switch and a fireworks display.

The town’s buildings will be illuminated by mapped-out lights, creating a “beautiful visual spectacle”.

Event Manager Rachel Fletcher enthusiastically described the lights as “world-class projections” that are guaranteed to be “Instagrammable” and emphasised that the entire town – rather than just a few shops – will be lit up.

Reflecting on last year’s festivities – a staggering success that approximately 50,000 people attended – Fletcher recalls “watching everyone come out of their houses when the fireworks went off.”

“I’m tearing up now just thinking about it”.

“At a time where people are concerned with the cost of living, there’s something to do for everyone, at no cost,” marketing manager Barbara Hyde added.

“This little town has helped itself in the middle of a pandemic.”

Free, family-friendly activities for this year’s festival, include nightly lights and projections displays on Main St, a “Winter Wonderland” at Stella Bull Park, a Matariki-themed outdoor art exhibition, and a showcase of buskers and street performers Greytown Town Centre.

Schools and preschools around the region have received snowflake ornaments to decorate, with the opportunity to hang them on the Community Christmas Tree, in the middle of town, on opening night. Also predicted to excite young visitors is the Showcase Snowfall on Main St – which will create a snow flurry, set to lights and music, using a snowflake generator.

“I’m so pleased to be able to bring this concept of snow in Greytown alive with the special snowflake generator,” Millie Blackwell, chief executive of event sponsor Showcase Workshop, said. “The beautiful snowflakes create a magic selfie opportunity. It’s very visual, but it doesn’t leave snow on the ground or slippery ice everywhere.”

As a gesture of goodwill, a collection box where people can donate non-perishable food for the region’s food banks will be available throughout the month.

Night food markets will be held Friday to Sunday, offering food lovers diverse culinary options: Including eggnog, mulled wine and gin, slow-cooked meats, gnocchi, burgers, and glow-in-the-dark candy floss.

Ticketed events include a movie night at Kemptons Woolshed, a “Cocktails and Comedy” showcase, a “Fashion Through The Ages” show [a fundraiser for Cobblestones Museum], and a pop-up planetarium.

The majority of the event has been funded by partners, sponsors, and Country Village Heaven, a collective of 70 retailers and businesses in Greytown.

Country Village Heaven founder Adam Blackwell was confident the festival would provide a significant boost to “our regional energy levels and trading activity during the middle of winter”.

“Attendances last year of over 50,000 people throughout the month, together with average spend per person figures indicate that the festival benefits the whole region, not just Greytown,”

    To find out more about the event, full programme details are at www.greytownvillage.com

    < As a gesture of goodwill, a collection box where people can donate non-perishable food for the region’s food banks will be available throughout the month.

    Night food markets will be held Friday to Sunday, offering food lovers diverse culinary options: Including eggnog, mulled wine and gin, slow-cooked meats, gnocchi, burgers, and glow-in-the-dark candy floss.

    Ticketed events include a movie night at Kemptons Woolshed, a “Cocktails and Comedy” showcase, a “Fashion Through The Ages” show [a fundraiser for Cobblestones Museum], and a pop-up planetarium.

    The majority of the event has been funded by partners, sponsors, and Country Village Heaven, a collective of 70 retailers and businesses in Greytown.

    Country Village Heaven founder Adam Blackwell was confident the festival would provide a significant boost to “our regional energy levels and trading activity during the middle of winter”.

    “Attendances last year of over 50,000 people throughout the month, together with average spend per person figures indicate that the festival benefits the whole region, not just Greytown,”

      To find out more about the event, full programme details are at www.greytownvillage.com

      < As a gesture of goodwill, a collection box where people can donate non-perishable food for the region’s food banks will be available throughout the month.

      Night food markets will be held Friday to Sunday, offering food lovers diverse culinary options: Including eggnog, mulled wine and gin, slow-cooked meats, gnocchi, burgers, and glow-in-the-dark candy floss.

      Ticketed events include a movie night at Kemptons Woolshed, a “Cocktails and Comedy” showcase, a “Fashion Through The Ages” show [a fundraiser for Cobblestones Museum], and a pop-up planetarium.

      The majority of the event has been funded by partners, sponsors, and Country Village Heaven, a collective of 70 retailers and businesses in Greytown.

      Country Village Heaven founder Adam Blackwell was confident the festival would provide a significant boost to “our regional energy levels and trading activity during the middle of winter”.

      “Attendances last year of over 50,000 people throughout the month, together with average spend per person figures indicate that the festival benefits the whole region, not just Greytown,”

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