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Spreading festive cheer: Nelson City Council

It’s starting to feel like Christmas, as Nelson City Council’s annual festive decorations go up throughout Nelson’s city centre.

Council’s contractors began installing Christmas wreaths and Christmas-themed flags last week, and decorations are now complete.

This year, Council is pleased to support the Nelson Santa Parade, held by the Nelson Santa Parade Trust. Council has made the commitment in the Long Term Plan to support the trust for the next three years, with a $15,000 grant each year.

Council also worked with the trust to secure a 9-metre-tall, reuseable, city centre Christmas tree, which was installed on the Cathedral steps on Sunday. The tree is expected to have a lifespan of 10-15 years.

The annual Santa Parade is scheduled to take place on 12 December; however, if it is unable to go ahead on that date, later dates have been secured. The trust will be making a decision on the parade date in early December.

Nelson Santa Parade Trust Chairperson Trevor Marshall said the trust was pleased to be working with Council to bring some festive spirit to the city.

“It’s already looking a lot like Christmas in the city and we’re very happy to be part of bringing that Christmas joy to our community. We know how beloved the annual Santa Parade is and we’re committed to bringing it to the streets of Nelson however we can.”

Two other Christmas initiatives that support our most vulnerable community members have also received funding.

Mayor Rachel Reese has once again shown her support for the Fifeshire Foundation’s annual Big Give gift and food appeal, with a $5000 donation from the Mayoral Fund.

The Big Give aims to relieve some of the pressure of the festive season for struggling families and individuals by giving Christmas packages, including food parcels, toys, gifts and supermarket vouchers.

Mayor Reese said she was pleased to continue to support the Big Give, which helps hundreds of local families who would otherwise find the festive season a struggle.

“The Big Give is an excellent cause that really makes a difference to the lives of so many people in our community. I encourage anyone, individuals or businesses, to join us in supporting the Big Give, and helping bring extra Christmas cheer to those in our community who need it the most.”

Council is donating staff time to assist with the Big Give.

Whakatū Rotary’s Community Christmas Dinner, which last year fed more than 200 people, has been granted $10,000 from Council’s Community Events Fund.

In the countdown to the big day, Nelson Public Libraries will offer a touch of Christmas magic too. Santa’s Grotto makes an appearance at Stoke Library on 10 December from 3.30pm-4.30pm and Elma Turner Library on 11 December from 11am-12pm.

Both events will have a range of crafts set up for children, as well as a storytime session of classic Christmas tales. All of these activities, including the grotto, will be subject to the COVID-19 Protection Framework Traffic Light System.

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