Festive night in park
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.’’
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.