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It must be Christmas; Santa is here

The Christmas flags and tinsel are up, the big trees have been erected in Hastings, Flaxmere and Havelock North, Father Christmas is resplendent on the Westerman’s building, and the beautiful steel trees are up in the fountain in the city centre.

And all of that means “it’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas” and it is time for Santa to hit the streets of Hastings.

In fact he has already been out over the last couple of weeks, accompanied by his trusty Hastings manager and district councillor Kevin Watkins.

Towing Father Christmas through the streets is a now a long-standing annual event that goes back 16 years.  Mr Watkins says he does it to see the “smiles of joy on the kids’ faces. I’ve always liked Christmas; it’s a very special time and if you can’t have a bit of fun and make people happy at this time of the year, when can you?”

He had rebuilt the float three times since over those 16 years, and Santa had approved the plans each time. “He loves it too; the kids are so good and love it so much.”

Children can also find Father Christmas in In Santa’s Wonderland in the Heretaunga St mall, next door to BJ’s Bakery. Courtesy of the Hastings City Business Association it is free and open from 10am to 4pm during the week and 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.

Adding to the holiday mood in the central city are all the Christmas trees that are appearing in front of business doors and their beautiful blue window decorations. And just to help the Christmas spirit along, the business association is running a Passport to Paradise competition, with purchases from participating businesses earning shoppers a stamp. Ten stamps gets the passport holder into a draw for a $3000 international travel prize.

4 October 2017

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