Crowd welcomes Christmas
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.
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.