Crowd wel­comes Christ­mas

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

They turned out in their thou­sands. The com­bined Vil­lage Night Mar­ket and Christ­mas in The Square per­for­mances co­in­cid­ing with a fine evening, filled the en­ter­tain­ment quad­rant of The Square on Satur­day.

While food, craft and gift stalls traded around the pe­riph­ery, the en­ter­tain­ment stage with its ro­tat­ing cast of per­form­ers pro­vided the main fo­cus for the free fam­ily-ori­ented event.

For some it was a chance to grab stock­ing-fillers. Car­toon­ist Brent Putze was mar­ket­ing his re­cently pub­lished book of Belle car­toons, keep­ing chil­dren of all ages en­ter­tained with his car­toon­ing skills.

An­other with books to sell was chil­dren’s au­thor Jim Hen­der­son with the lat­est version of his pop­u­lar farm-based Flossie books and DVDs.

Among the per­form­ers were chil­dren’s duo Ki­wi­bop, with mem­ber Amy Hunt re­turn­ing for vo­cals with the All-Star Christ­mas Band, who backed a va­ri­ety of guest artistes. Among them was for­mer mayor and Na­tional list MP Jono Nay­lor, who per­formed with the Tiritea School choir, while Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway sang with his wife Clare.

Ear­lier, lo­cal band ReZist had the crowd up and mov­ing. The band have earned a place on the bill at next Fe­bru­ary’s Ragga­muf­fin fes­ti­val along­side acts such as UB40, Sly & Rob­bie, Maxi Priest and Macy Gray.

Santa made an ap­pear­ance while his helpers handed out sweets. There was a spir­ited set from the Uni­fied Gospel Choir while the Palmer­ston North Com­mu­nity Choir fin­ished the evening with tra­di­tional carol singing.

Star of the per­for­mance was the Cen­tral En­ergy Trust new 15 square me­tre high-def­i­ni­tion screen making its full cam­era de­but.

The con­cert’s char­ity cause was Methodist So­cial Ser­vices, who are cam­paign­ing to re­place their van.

Good­will man­ager Lyal Bren­ton says the fa­mil­iar yel­low van was writ­ten off af­ter be­ing shunted while sta­tion­ary, by an­other fast mov­ing and out of con­trol car into some­one’s yard.

The agency dipped into its re­serves to buy a $7000 re­place­ment, and is look­ing to make up the dif­fer­ence.

Do­na­tions to the ve­hi­cle ap­peal can be made on the ‘good­will van’ givealit­tle page.

PHO­TOS: FAITH SUTHER­LAND/FAIR­FAX NZ

Ki­wi­Bop keep the kids en­ter­tained dur­ing the early part of the evening cel­e­bra­tions.

Car­toon­ist Brent Putze brings his car­toon char­ac­ter Belle to life.

Is­abella (5) and her brother Isayah (8) Drake col­lect for the Methodist So­cial Ser­vices new van.

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