Musical showpiece of local talent

Thousands of people attended the annual A Night Before Christmas community concert in Bethlehem Town Centre at the weekend.

Bethlehem Baptist Church in conjunction with Bethlehem Town Centre once again hosted the free community annual event on Saturday night, with the help of sponsors and a group of 120 behind-the-scenes volunteers.

The event featured 2004 New Zealand Idol winner Ben Lummis, a 40-strong children's choir and a host of other local talent.

What started 16 years ago as a small service at Bethlehem Baptist Church has now become one of the pre-Christmas "must-do" events in Tauranga.

As well as bringing the community together, it's an opportunity to showcase top local talent.



"It's a time when community can come together and recognise what Christmas is all about," said organiser Michaela Vernall, one of the pastors at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

The event has become a very special part of Bethlehem Town Centre's seasonal festivities.

Countdown Supermarket was on board as one of the main sponsors this year.

A collection was taken with proceeds going to Waipuna Hospice and the evening rounded off in spectacular style with a fireworks display.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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