Christmas at stadium shaping up

Looking forward to the Christmas in the Stadium event on December 2 are (from left) Acts of Kindness Charitable Trust members Grant and Anne Hardy, Dunedin Venues Ltd marketing manager Kim Barnes and trustee John Watson. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD
Looking forward to the Christmas in the Stadium event on December 2 are (from left) Acts of Kindness Charitable Trust members Grant and Anne Hardy, Dunedin Venues Ltd marketing manager Kim Barnes and trustee John Watson. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

Organisers of the inaugural Christmas in the Stadium event on December 2 are delighted at the response from local performers and organisations to the concept.

‘‘Now we need the Dunedin community to get behind the event and come along,’’ they say.

The Christmas in the Stadium is the brainchild of Acts of Kindness Charitable Trust members Grant and Anne Hardy and John Watson.

‘‘We felt Dunedin was missing its own ‘Christmas in the Park’ type event, so being able to have one under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium is fantastic,’’ Mr Hardy said.

‘‘We want it to be for families, but also for the whole community, something to bring everyone together.’’

A busy line-up of performers, from the Dunedin RSA Choir and City Choir Dunedin to Sophie Morris, Valley Bluegrass, Arc, Hope City, Judah and Levi Kelly and the Oxo Cubans, will present a variety of music, including carols.

The stadium will be divided into a concert and picnic area, a children’s play area, and an activities area for the afternoon event, which will run from 2pm to 6pm.

Lending Matters, a group of social agencies and lending companies concerned with levels of unsustainable debt in New Zealand, will be on hand at Christmas in the Stadium to help families make free or low­cost gifts for Christmas.

In addition, Plunket will be operating a gift-swap stand.

Lending Matters co­ordinator Dr Rob Thomson said Christmas could be a stressful time for families, particularly around finances, and the gift-making activities aimed to be a fun opportunity to take the pressure off.

‘‘The whole family can be involved, or parents can enjoy making gifts while the children play — it’s going to be very nice to be part of the Christmas in the Stadium,’’ Dr Thomson said.

Lending Matters was looking for volunteers to help out with the gift making, so if you would like to help, email rob@lendingmatters.nz.

Christmas in the Stadium will be part of a big weekend of Christmas-themed events in early December.

These will include the lighting of the Octagon Christmas tree on Friday evening, December 1, Christmas in the Stadium at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday, December 2, and the Santa Parade on Sunday, December 3.

BRENDA.HARWOOD@thestar.co.nz 

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