This year’s event is a fundraiser for Kaikoura earthquake relief...
Wanaka’s Christmas tree has been bringing joy and glee to residents and holidaymakers for three years.
The annual lighting of the Christmas tree will take place on the lawn outside the Wanaka Hotel on Friday from 7pm.
This year, the free event is a fundraiser for Kaikoura earthquake relief.
The organiser is Wanaka’s ‘‘Christmas Fairy’’, Jen Anderson, a well known local entertainer.
Deputy mayor Calum MacLeod will light the tree.
Entertainment includes music, singing, dancing and music by local Wanaka groups Wanaka Ukeleles, Classically Music and Dance Wanaka.
Wanaka Lions and Wanaka MItre 10 will help collect money for earthquake relief. Donations can be cash or made by Eftpos.
Wanaka’s artificial, 7m-high, gaudily decorated tree was purchased by the Queenstown Lakes District Council for about $20,000 in 2013.
It was first used for Wanaka’s Christmas celebrations in 2014.
The tree’s predecessor, a massive natural pine tree that towered above the Dinosaur Park, got the chop in 2013 to improve the view of Lake Wanaka from Ardmore Steet.
The modern tradition of decorating a Christmas tree with candy, baubles and bells had its genesis in Renaissance Germany (around the 16th Century) and became more popular in the 19th Century.
Tree worshipping practices stem from much older times, and survived the conversion of European pagans to Christianity.
Wanaka’s Christmas Tree.