Christmas event draws big crowds

The crowd at Christmas in the Stadium, Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photos: Linda Robertson
The crowd at Christmas in the Stadium, Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photos: Linda Robertson
It might not have been December yet, but that was no deterrent to hundreds of families who flocked to Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday to begin their festive season.

Vaiola Kafa Tangimana (4) has her face painted as an angel by volunteer Maya Threlfall at...
Vaiola Kafa Tangimana (4) has her face painted as an angel by volunteer Maya Threlfall at Christmas in the Stadium, Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The annual Christmas at the Stadium event attracted an estimated crowd of 4000, which included about 1500 children who enjoyed a toy swap, creation stations, face painting, bands, and a vast range of inflatable toys.

"It’s a great community event," organiser Grant Hardy said.

"We have good volunteer support. We have maybe 20 face painters and we have a queue to China waiting for them."

A highlight of this year’s event was securing enduring Dunedin favourites The Chills as its headline act.

"It is good to honour them, it is appropriate that they get to play in this stadium and in this environment," Mr Hardy said.

"They have put a lot into the community, both in terms of service and their musical careers, and it’s nice to have them play in a community environment."

The Chills lead singer Martin Phillipps obviously felt the significance of the event too, opening the band’s set with This Is The Way, a song he told the audience the band had not played live since the 1980s.

Mr Hardy said early on more than 4000 people had been counted arriving, but more were to arrive.

"It’s a good Christmas family event, it’s cruisy, it’s relaxed, and it comes from the community serving the community."

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