Folk flock to festive concert
The Christmas on the Bay variety concert drew thousands of spectators to the Caroline Bay Soundshell at the weekend in what could well be the event's most successful year yet.
Event manager Di Cleverley said she hadn't taken a formal count, but crowd estimates were as high as 5500 to 6000 people.
"I think this being our fourth year, the whole community is getting the feeling for coming out and having a picnic and enjoying a day of entertainment from talented local people," she said.
She said the support for this year's event, including sponsorships by local businesses, was "overwhelming".
Well-known singer and TV personality Jackie Clarke opened the concert with All I Want for Christmas is You. She also served as MC for the festivities.
The event featured several performances by the inHarmony choir, as well as performances by other local musicians, including individuals, clubs and school groups.
The inHarmony choir also led the audience in a singalong of popular Christmas tunes.
One particularly special moment was the premiere of an original song composed by Harriet Richards, Mrs Cleverley said. The song, entitled Stand Together, was performed as part of the audience singalong and "really got the crowd going".
The Christmas on the Bay concert was free to the public but the audience was asked to give a gold-coin donation for charity.
This year's contributions will go to South Canterbury @Heart, a group of parents and caregivers of children with heart conditions who provide support to others whose children suffer from heart conditions.
Mrs Cleverley said she was not yet sure exactly how much money was raised for the charity, but "I'd like to think it will be another record".
The Timaru Herald