Celebrating the spirit of Christmas
About 3000 people dusted off their deck chairs and got out their picnic baskets to enjoy the sun and festive spirit at the annual Christmas in the Park at Blenheim's Pollard Park last night.
The concert, organised by the Blenheim Ministers' Association, saw an array of young Marlborough talent stepping up on stage to perform for the community.
Marlborough singer-songwriter and 2012 New Zealand's Got Talent winner Clara van Wel put on a strong performance for her last show before she moves to Wellington. Among the other performers were Marlborough Girls' College student Emma Logan, the Blenheim Brass Band and Marlborough Boys' College school leavers Michael Ruffell, Max Bicknell and Hugo Smith as La Choradia.
In previous years, organisers brought in artists from out of the district to add to the local lineup.
"This year, it's 100 per cent Marlborough talent," said MC and co-organiser Tom Hatch.
"There's a ridiculous amount of talent in Marlborough."
Susie Wendelborn, of Blenheim, said she was a regular concert-goer: "I've been before and loved it - love the setting, love the community of it, love the music."
Lucy Pereira, of Brazil, is on holiday with her children Jhulianna and Richard Smith. She took her whole family along for a glimpse of Kiwi culture.
"I like the songs and music," she said. "When you come here, you can talk and laugh and be happy."
Lali Waiae and Eddie Ronnie, of Vanuatu, were enjoying the atmosphere. "We have Christmas in the Park in Vanuatu with songs and skits . . . but this is better," Mr Waiae said.
Earlier in the evening, Mayor Alistair Sowman wished everyone a Merry Christmas and reminded them of its true meaning. "When I look out and see mums and dads, and aunts and uncles and family and friends of all shapes and sizes, I'm reminded of the true meaning of Christmas - love and security from friends and family."
- The Marlborough Express