The must-see St Stephen’s Tamahere Christmas Festival begins on Saturday and the church and hall have been transformed into a seasonal wonderland.
The 25-year-old festival with its beautiful displays of Christmas decorations and nativity scenes is always one of the real pleasures of the season for those who flock to its delights from near and far.
Open from 10am to 4pm daily until December 24, the festival’s first day will also lead into Tamahere’s twilight Christmas market specialising in arts and crafts for Christmas gifts.
The Christmas market will run from 4pm to 8pm with the regular monthly market returning on December 17.
St Stephen’s Christmas festival, which features choristers singing carols at 11am and 2pm daily, is also a rewarding labour of love for the small but dedicated church group who over the year make all the decorations sold in the Christmas Shoppe. They have raised around $340,000 for charity in their quarter of a century of effort.
Long time group member Bev Skokandich said the group’s members who meet twice a week enjoy each other’s company as they set about creating the hundreds of intricate and colourful decorations for tree, table, door and wall.
The festival can be a welcome respite from the Christmas rush for the many people who take time out of the hubbub to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and take tea, coffee and homemade shortbread and Christmas cake while eyeing up that special decoration for their own tree or as a gift for others.
The St Stephen’s Christmas Festival is held at the church, corner of Airport Rd and Tamahere Drive. December 3 to 24, 10am to 4pm daily.