Tree brings festive air to Church Steps

Last updated 12:00 30/11/2013

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It's been a bit of a mission, and involved some Nelson ingenuity, but a newly decorated Christmas tree is lighting up the Church Steps.

From early yesterday a team of Nelmac staff and other tradesmen worked to get the 5-metre tree in place with its 20 metres of lighting and 450 red, white and blue decorations topped with a blue star.

It's the culmination of two weeks' work getting it ready ahead of The Leader Nelson City Santa Parade tomorrow.

Nelmac, the Nelson City Council and Uniquely Nelson wanted to come up with a tree with more visual wow than in previous years.

Nelmac facilities contracts manager Ryan Holt said the old Christmas tree frame had been modified with fish netting stretched around the metal frame for the decorations.

While traditionally a Christmas tree is an evergreen pine, Nelson's summer weather and the heat generated by the decorations meant that was not going to work.

Mr Holt said that an artificial tree had advantages. "We've been able to re-use parts of the tree structure from previous years - this fits with Nelmac's sustainable approach. Artificial trees are cheaper in the long run as they can be re-used and are also better for the environment because they prevent one from being cut down."

A number of Nelson businesses had contributed with Glenn van der Leij fabricating the metal frame, Hampijan Ltd supplying the netting, RGB Event Lighting with the lights, Powertech doing the lighting installation, and Hireach and Byrne helping with the transport.

Uniquely Nelson manager Cathy Madigan said the installation of the Christmas tree represented the start of the Christmas festive season. "I'm delighted the city has a Christmas tree to be proud of, and its location of the Church Steps is the perfect landmark. It's fitting that the tree has gone up just before the Santa Parade, which starts under the tree."

The new cathedral Christmas tree marks the beginning of the festive season in the city and next week there will be more than 30 Christmas trees inside the cathedral.

Tomorrow's parade will start from 1pm by the Church Steps and go along Trafalgar St, finishing at Trafalgar Park.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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