Christmas Cave’s 50th year
The magic of Christmas is back for the 50th year as a Manawatu¯ town recreates the reason for the season.
A nativity scene representing the birth of Jesus is one of several educational themes for children as Feilding’s Christmas Cave opened at the weekend.
The exhibition put on by Feilding Rotary boasts shining lights, model trains and a real-life Santa all encased by a military parachute to form a cave-like stage.
Eric Linklater has been at the helm of the cave for about 42 years.
It started back in the 1960s as a community service and has grown into an annual extravaganza at the Feilding Little Theatre, he said.
‘‘Two or three times a Christmas, a young kid will come by and say ‘wow’ and you think ‘that’s why we do it’.’’
Back in the 60s, Linklater recalled it taking more than a couple of weeks to install the cave. They were using a giant scrim as a backdrop back then.
Now it took less than a week to prepare, and only a couple of hours to pin up the military parachute.
More than 2700 turned out last year and Linklater was hoping for about the same this season.
The exhibition involved 12 cubicles with various displays looking at different aspects of Christmas. There is also an activity table for children.
Rotary member David Young said there was plenty there to keep smiles on faces.
‘‘I think we try and alter it and improve it each year. It’s getting bigger and bigger.’’