Washbourn Gardens in Richmond was packed last night as families gathered for Carols by Candlelight.
"It was a stunning evening," said Tasman District mayor Richard Kempthorne who was master of ceremony.
"It was a marvellous occasion, on a balmy evening so when the candles light up they didn't blow out and it was wonderful."
The Take a Chance Singers warmed up the crowd with a sing-along to favourite carols, and the Manawariti Kapa Haka Group from Whakatu Marae, who handed out song sheets and candles, performed.
Hana Tava, 13, who had performed at the Christmas in the Park show in Christchurch, and her 12-year-old sister, Bailee, sang Silent Night, then Hana sang All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Guitarist Keiran O'Connor, 14, who has been playing since he was 4, sang Hallelujah.
In a departure from carols, the evening finished with the crowd singing the national anthem. "There was a wave of people standing up and singing, it was a proud way to end the evening," said Tasman District Council community recreation adviser Paul McConachie.
He estimated more than 1500 people attended. event.
Tonight in Nelson, Carols by Candlelight will be held on the Church Steps at the top of Trafalgar St, with Nelson City Brass Band and the Nelson Male Voice Choir leading the public in carol singing from 8.45pm. In Takaka, there will be carols at the Village Green from 7pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News