Santa's on his way to Palmerston North

Published on 23 November 2022

Photo shows a man wearing Santa suites speaking on stage

To kickstart the festive season, the first weekend of December will see Palmerston North’s city-centre buzzing with full on family-friendly fun, food, and Christmas spirit.

The annual concert and Christmas tree lighting will take place in Te Marae o Hine on Saturday 3 December, followed by a parade around the city-centre streets on the Sunday.

Head of Events, Luke McIndoe, says each year the Christmas concert attracts large numbers and isn’t one to miss.

“The Christmas concert is the pinnacle of family-friendly entertainment and will have plenty of performances, fun activities for the kids, and a good selection of food trucks.”

The line-up of performers includes trombone legend Rodger Fox and his Big Band, as well as several local groups.

Tamariki will be spoilt for choice with a bouncy castle, merry-go-round, outdoor games and a chance to take the stage and be a part of the Christmas fashion/dance show.

“They’ll be able to walk the runway to show off their most ‘Christmasy’ get up and have a boogie at the same time, as long as they register at the information tent by 6.30pm.”

A variety of food options will be available to purchase on the night or eventgoers can pack a picnic beforehand to enjoy with the family.

Mr McIndoe says the concert is for everyone.

“We’ll have NZ sign language interpreters signing parts of the concert and we’ll also have a cordoned off area set aside for those who need greater accessibility. If you’re wanting a space reserved in this area, please let us know by emailing events@pncc.govt.nz.”

The annual Christmas tree lighting will take place at 9pm.

In partnership with the Council, the Kairanga Lions club have organised the annual Christmas parade for the following day at 2pm. It will begin at the corner of Church and Pitt Streets, going up Church Street and around Te Marae o Hine, before making its way south down Main Street.

Mr McIndoe says he’s glad we can go back to normal this year.

“Last year the parade was held outdoors at the Central Energy Trust Arena to abide by the government’s traffic light system. We’re stoked that we can bring it back to the city-centre.”

The streets will be cordoned off and people are encouraged to grab a spot along the footpath before the parade begins. There will also be a pop-up playground in Te Marae o Hine from 1 – 4pm.

“Gather up your friends and family and come be a part of these fun and festive events!”