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Originally dubbed Christmas in the Park — the event had been held at Takaro Park since 2012 — this year’s edition was relocated to the Oamaru harbour area after November’s wet weather and more recent rainfall meant the event’s home was deemed too sodden by the Waitaki District Council, which offered the harbour areas as an alternative.
About 2000 people flocked to the grassed area next to the children’s bike park for Christmas at the Harbour, many dressed in festive attire, to celebrate Christmas being imminent.
There were plenty picnic rugs and the contents of picnic baskets and chilly bins spread out as people enjoyed free music in the form of well-known classics and festive tunes.
Some danced, some sang and others just sat, contentedly humming along.
There were long queues for the face-painting and ball-toss stalls, as well as for candy floss and sausages in bread.
House of Breakthrough Church pastor Damien Goodsir said the church loved hosting the free community event.
"The whole idea is to have a free community day. This time of year can be stressful, busy and hard for some people ... it’s just a blessing to the community. It’s so good. The community has been amazing and the venue has been great, so we might keep it here for years to come.
"Oamaru is a fantastic place. So many people in the community do so much, so this is our way of doing something for the community, as well."