Hamilton’s Christmas tree prepares to light up

Published: Thu 4 Dec 2008 09:12 AM
Hamilton’s central city Christmas tree prepares to ‘light up’
3 DECEMBER 2008 For Immediate Release
Hamilton’s new central city Christmas tree is nearing completion with lights and decoration on track to be completed this weekend.
The first illumination of the tree will be part of a Christmas celebration event this Sunday [7th December] evening at 9pm. The celebrations commence with entertainment from 8.25pm with a Gospel Choir and traditional Chinese instrumental music.
There will be a series of family themed festivities at the base of the tree most evenings at 8.25pm from this Sunday until Friday 19 December. A major concert will take place on December 13th with the theme of Kiwiana Christmas.
The 25 metre tall tree is one of the largest artificial Christmas trees in New Zealand. Installation of the green foliage covering was completed on Tuesday and today lights and baubles are being put in place.
The cost of the tree and its installation has been met by cash or in-kind sponsorships from Hamilton businesses.
Hamilton City Councillors Joe Di Maio, Roger Hennebry and Gordon Chesterman have led the project on behalf of the city.
Councillor Di Maio says the project to put up the tree has been a combined business community effort, and now that it is up in Garden Place and being decorated, it is something that everyone can enjoy.
“We believe our timing for the tree couldn’t have been better. Obviously there is talk of harder financial times ahead for many, but by establishing a focal point for celebration at Christmas and by creating something that people can take pleasure in, there is a real chance of spirits being lifted.”
Councillor Hennebry says the tree will have a double benefit. “As well as creating enjoyment, it is also likely to bring more people into the CityHeart boosting shopping numbers for retailers which we know is a major consideration, particularly this year,” he says.
A live video camera which sends a picture of Garden Place to TVNZ’s news and weather programme has already given coverage of the tree as it has been installed.
It is anticipated that many families will take the opportunity to admire the spectacle of the tree as they drive by on Victoria St. Slowing down so the kids can take in the sight will be even more appropriate as the speed limit for Victoria St is reduced to 30km/hr from next week. The reduced speed limit is an extension of the traffic trial underway on Victoria St between Hood St and Alexander St which has successfully calmed traffic speeds in this area.

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