Road alight with Christmas cheer
Franklin Rd residents are dusting off their lights, lining up their reindeer and setting up their Santas.
Kathleen Callaghan and children six-year-old Freyia Pearce and four-year-old Lachlan Pearce are getting their decorations ready for Monday’s switch-on.
As one of the only houses with a chimney, Santa will be stuck head-first, with presents toppling down the roof.
Having moved to the street just three weeks ago, Kathleen says getting the decorations up has been a lot of fun.
“The kids have always come and looked at the lights and now we’re living in the lights.”
She says it’s been a great way to get to know the community.
“I’ve probably met more neighbours in the last three weeks than I met in Epsom in the last two years,” she says.
And of course, she says, the kids just love it.
“It’s just a big adventure really.
“Every day something’s happening.”
Over the years the lights along the busy Ponsonby street have become a favourite night-time attrac- tion for many Aucklanders. Resident Roscoe Thorby has lived on the street for 20 years and has been coordinator and self-proclaimed “encourager” of the lights for 16 of those.
He says every year is different and he never knows what to expect until the lights are turned on at an unveiling party on December 1.
“Everyone is an individual and it’s their own gift to the community.”
Roscoe says the lights have continued to grow in popularity each year, with 105 houses on the road lit last year.
He says having the yearly event has really helped build a community.
“Everyone takes the road quite personally and takes it to heart.”
Roscoe says residents are also protective of what they’ve done and have to fight every year to keep commercialism and street hawkers off the road, despite interest from big corporate advertisers.
“We don’t do it for people to come in here and make money,” he says.
“One of the beauties of Franklin Rd is that people can walk up and down and not be pestered to buy something.”
even though times are tough this year, people will go the extra mile with their lights.
“If we can just make an extra person smile or feel better about their situation then that makes me feel really good and makes it all worthwhile,” Roscoe says. Are Christmas lights twinkling in your neighbourhood?
Let us know so we can tell readers about the city’s most festive streets.
All lit up: Franklin Rd residents Lachlan, 4, and Freyia, 6, decorate their house with mum Kathleen.