Porirua’s Christ­mas at Park can­celled

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

For the first time in 20 years there will be no Christ­mas at the Park for Porirua.

Or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee chair­man Robert Brace said a lack of fund­ing was one of the rea­sons for bring­ing the fes­ti­val to an end.

The bud­get of $80,000 had been in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to meet.

‘‘This year we had an ex­pec­ta­tion of $45,000 from our sup­port­ive fun­ders, but that still left us short of $35,000. It was a bridge too far,’’ he said.

‘‘Not only is the money ac­tu­ally re­quired but it needs to be avail­able in good time for proper plan­ning.’’

He said some of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee were also not able to con­tinue vol­un­teer­ing their time.

‘‘It will be sorely missed. It was an in­ter­de­nom­i­na­tional event sup­ported by the com­mu­nity.

‘‘Peo­ple were very ap­pre­cia­tive and re­ally en­joyed it.’’

Brace said the fes­ti­val at­tracted about 10,000 peo­ple to Els­don Park and had only been can­celled twice over the years.

He said his fond­est mem­ory was of the fire­works at the end of the event.

The fes­ti­val grew from small be­gin­ning in Ti­tahi Bay, then moved to the old K Mart Plaza, Aotea La­goon, Te Rau­paraha Park and fi­nally Els­don Park.

Last year per­form­ers in­cluded House of Shem and Funky Mon­key’s Chris Lam Sam as MC.

Although this fes­ti­val will not pro­ceed, other Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tions around the city in Plim­mer­ton, Whitby and Can­nons Creek will con­tinue.

The fes­ti­val has pre­vi­ously been spon­sored by Porirua City Coun­cil and the Mana Com­mu­nity Grants Foun­da­tion.

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