Joy of Christmas is just around the corner THE DETAILS:
Matamata’s biennial Mid Winter Christmas Festival will bring joy next month.
The popular event on Meura St from July 2- 4 is a fundraiser for Pohlen Hospital and child cancer.
A large group of locals are getting involved, creating Christmas-themed courts that will adorn the venue.
The average court size is 3m x 3m. Each has a theme chosen by the creator, which fits with the festival. There will also be more than 40 decorated Christmas trees, schools and community groups will provide entertainment, art, a cafe with community baking and a Christmas shop.
Festival committee president Jill Sanson-Emerton and court co-ordinator Rose Varty are just two of a number of committee members involved in bringing the spirit of Christmas to Matamata.
The two women were brought in ‘‘at the last minute’’ for the 2013 event and through their love of creativity created courts and trees.
This time they have leadership roles on the committee.
‘‘Raising funds for Pohlen and child cancer is quite important to our committee,’’ Jill said.
Rose believes getting involved in the festival is the least she can do knowing the struggle some families go through with a child battling cancer.
‘‘It’s such a pleasure to be able to do something like this.’’
Organisers this year hope to create greater awareness for Pohlen Hospital and child cancer.
In the lead up to this year’s festival, Rose’s home, along with many others, has been filled with Christmas decorations, scenes and all things festive.
‘‘This festival, in the middle
Matamata’s Mid Winter Christmas Festival
11 Meura St, Matamata
10am till 6pm July 2-3 and 10am till 3pm July 4
Adults $5, children gold coin Proceeds to Pohlen Hospital and child cancer
of winter, is an ideal time to brighten people’s spirits. The community spirit that develops over this festival is very special,’’ Rose said.
She said she gets a real buzz from being able to make something out of nothing.
Most of her decorations have been hand-made from recyclables, collected from the rubbish bin, op shops and the tip shop.
For instance, a nutcracker tree has been decorated with ornaments made from toilet paper rolls.
‘‘ That’s part of the idea, being able to turn somebody’s junk into somebody else’s treasure.’’
‘‘We don’t have a big budget at all and that’s what we’ve done, created something special out of nothing really.’’ She said it’s great to see people leave the festival with inspiration.
‘‘ It’s about using your imagination. If you can dream it, you can do it.’’
Jill said it was also a delight to see people’s faces light up with joy when they experience the Mid Winter Christmas Festival.
‘‘ When you see that you think all those hours are worth it, just to see people happy.’’
The festival was also about bringing Matamata’s creative community together to showcase their talents in a very special way.
‘‘It’s really all about pulling a community together for a common cause,’’ Rose said.