Fes­tive night in park

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Num­bers may have been a lit­tle down due to in­clement weather, but Porirua’s Christ­mas in the Park was one of the most suc­cess­ful yet, or­gan­is­ers say.

Per­form­ers such as The Es­ther Melody Band, The Fource, Late 80s Mercedes, The Funky Mon­keys and The Mis­sion Choir, along with other en­ter­tain­ment and plenty of food, meant there was some­thing for ev­ery­one at Els­don Park on De­cem­ber 11.

The two-hour event was capped off with an im­pres­sive fire­works dis­play.

Robert Brace, chair­man of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, said they es­ti­mate 5000 peo­ple at­tended, with some likely put off by misty, rainy weather ear­lier in the day.

‘‘It was a won­der­ful night,’’ Mr Brace said.

‘‘With groups like Late 80s Mercedes, I think there was a lot more in­volve­ment from the crowd than in the past.

‘‘It’s a won­der­ful fes­ti­val and we’re very grate­ful for the sup­port we re­ceive from the com­mu­nity to make it hap­pen.’’

Mr Brace said Els­don Park would con­tinue to be the site for fu­ture events, since it was eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble, al­lowed for good park­ing and was the most suit­able to let off fire­works at.

There were no re­ports of dis­tur­bances or mis­chief within the crowd this year.

Porirua res­i­dent Fa’ao­lataga Leasi said she pri­mar­ily went to sup­port her daugh­ter, Knox­ana, who is in The Fource, but she thor­oughly en­joyed all the per­form­ers.

It was her first time at Christ­mas in the Park, but it will not be her last.

‘‘ It was an ab­so­lutely bril­liant night,’’ she said.

‘‘I thor­oughly en­joyed it. There was a strong mix of Pa­cific Is­land, Maori and Euro­pean en­ter­tain­ment and I en­joyed the Chris­tian el­e­ment.

‘‘The Funky Mon­keys had ev­ery­one danc­ing and some of the other acts caused me to have tears in my eyes. It wasn’t too long or too loud: ev­ery­thing was per­fect.’’

Pho­tos: DAR­REN TAUMATA

Roan Thomas, left, and Izel Ti­je­rina got into the spirit of the event with sing­ing by can­dle­light.

Toe-tap­ping: Swing-funk band Late 80s Mercedes had the crowd groov­ing to their sound, en­joyed by all ages at the event.

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