New Christmas festivities planned due to COVID
Grab the tinsel and bright lights and dress up your home or business to win major prizes in the Gore District Council’s new Christmas celebrations.
The continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and events has forced the Council to make the difficult decision not to hold this year’s Christmas Carnival and Santa Parade, scheduled for Sunday 12 December.
However, all is not lost.
December will see the first Gore District Advent Calendar event, with daily activities and prizes, and the Best Dressed Residence and Best Dressed Business competitions.
Anyone in the District can be involved. Each day from Wednesday 1 December to Friday 24 December, the Council will be unveiling a different competition, puzzle or retailer offer through its Santa Parade Facebook event page, Antenno and CaveFM.
Events coordinator Jessica Swan said the calendar was designed for everyone of all ages.
“You don’t have to be a child to participate or win prizes. Plus, we will be working with local retailers and activity providers to help with your Christmas shopping and holidays.”
The Council was grateful for the continuing support of local businesses who have come onboard with the new concept, she said.
Alongside the Gore District Advent Calendar, two major competitions will be for the Best Decorated Residence and Best Decorated Business.
“By residence, we mean your house, flat, unit – wherever you call home. Get your flatmates, your family together and get creative. We’re looking for more than just fairy lights.”
The winner of each will be determined by online voting. The Best Decorated Residence winner will receive a scenic flight over Gore for up to four people, to the value of $500.00, thanks to High Country Helicopters.
“We wanted to put up a prize that would get people excited – High Country Helicopters had originally sponsored the Santa Parade people’s choice award, and we are delighted the company is on-board for this new idea.”
Hokonui Radio, the sponsor for Best Business Float, has also transferred its prize for the Best Decorated Business, with a $600.00 one-week advertising package up for grabs. Further details about the competitions will be announced before the end of November.
Miss Swan said restrictions around social gatherings, coupled with the complexity and size of the Santa Parade, would have led to an unrecognisable event that only a few could attend.
“With float entries closing soon, we had to make the call now before people started going to all the effort of making floats.
“We also wanted to ensure our sponsors were given plenty of notice.”
For those concerned Santa won’t make it to Gore this year, she says not to worry.
“We have been in contact with Santa’s team to ensure he can still visit us safely in December with smaller, localised visits.”