Festive line up coming to the CBD this holiday season

Tuesday, 31 October 2023

Gisborne’s central business district (CBD) is the focus of a huge line-up of fun Christmas activities this year.

A Kiwiana Christmas workshop at the HB Williams Memorial Library will be Christmas central for everyone in town.

There’ll be visits from Santa, music, a photo booth, workshops for children, and a present-wrapping HQ at the library throughout the month of December.

There’s also a new party in town with The Christmas Street Festival being held at the Grey Street Skate Park on Sunday 10 December from 12noon to 6pm.

That event is being organised by the Tairāwhiti Adventure Trust (TAT).

In the line-up for Sunday’s event are food trucks, craft stalls, and a parade float stall where the winner will be decided by public vote. This year’s theme is Beach Days.

Santa will be there from 2pm and if you have a Christmas-patterned jersey, dust it off because there’ll be a worst-Christmas-jersey competition.

There’ll be heaps for tamariki with a twinkle light tunnel, face painting, games, carols, and a fashion parade along a candy cane runway.

“We’re excited to move the annual celebration of Christmas to a different platform this year,“ says Gisborne District Council Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher Swann.

“All the key components of our traditional Christmas parade will be there including floats and Santa with heaps of extras for a festive fun time.

“Earlier this year we reached out through an expression of interest to organisations to run this year’s parade.

“We were wowed by Tairāwhiti Adventure Trust’s proposed event and their re-interpretation of the traditional parade.

“Rather than a moving street parade, all floats will be built on-site and on display throughout the day, allowing floats and visitors to interact.

“With the event stretching into early evening, it’s a fun way for our community to reconnect and spend time together.”

Ms Thatcher Swann says The Christmas Street Festival will also promote and support the town centre.

“Inner city retailers are invited to have a stall at the event and to keep their doors open on Sunday as people move to and from the festival on Grey Street.”

The festival supports other projects to increase inner-city vibrancy in the lead-up to Christmas.

The Christmas tree will be back up on the corner of Peel Street and Gladstone Road, and the wooden Christmas trees return to line the CBD.

Overseen by Ken Huberts for almost 20 years, the wooden trees are a real local effort with businesses and schools all involved.

Ms Thatcher Swann says the New Year’s Eve event Wave will not go ahead this year due to rising costs and low numbers attending.

“However, The Walter Findlay Family Fire in the Sky will be back on 1 January as normal.

“Merle Walker of ToiBiz will again be project managing the pre-fireworks event which includes coordinating all the infrastructure, entertainment and food vendors. Walter Findlay Ltd Quality Bakers of Gisborne will bring us the amazing Fireworks display later in the evening.”