Road alight with Christ­mas cheer

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

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.”

He says

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.