Christmas festival charms


Christmas comes to Tamahere this week with the special Twilight Tamahere Market followed by the annual St Stephen’s Christmas Festival.

Volunteers Gail Blackwell, left, and Val Nixon, with some of the decorations made for the St Stephen’s Tamahere Christmas Festival

The Twilight Market on Saturday, December 7, 4-8pm, heralds the start of the Christmas Festival, which will run for just one week, a shorter term than past years.

The fundraising festival, with its charming Christmas Shop and tea rooms, is marking its 33rd year.

From Monday, December 9 to Friday, December 13, 10am to 4pm, the event in the church’s Tamahere Drive hall will be the place to buy a handcrafted Christmas gift or decoration.

It’s also where visitors can enjoy a genteel cup of tea or coffee in fine china and partake of homemade Christmas cake or shortbread. In other words, just the tonic for those looking for some genuine Christmas spirit.

The range of gifts and decorations promise to be a delight for young and old – table centres and wreaths, and decorations for the tree and around the house that are crafted with artistry and imagination.

And for a good cause. All proceeds will go to charities including the Kids First Whanau Centre, a residential programme for women and children, and the Hamilton Foodbank.

Over its many decades the festival has raised more than $400,000 for a range of charities thanks to the dedicated work of volunteers who meet weekly for most of the year to make the unique stock.

Artists, florists, crafters with hand needles and sewing machines, glue, paints and glitter work their magic on a range of donated materials – up-cycling, re-purposing, re-making and restyling – to create clever one-off Christmas goodies.

The festival also includes carol services in the church at 10.30am and 1.30pm daily. These are led by school choirs and local musicians.

The St Stephen’s Christmas Festival and twilight market are held at the church, corner of Airport Rd and Tamahere Drive. The regular, monthly Tamahere Market will be held on Saturday, December 21, 8am to 1pm.

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