Domain ablaze with spirit of Christmas

By Derek Cheng

Glow-sticks, celebrity appearances and hundreds of thousands of voices lit up Auckland Domain on Saturday night for the 12th annual Christmas in the Park.

More than 200,000 people filled the Domain for the event, which managed to run its course without any major glitches, nor a drop of rain.

Musician Greg Johnson and hip-hop group Fast Crew were among the talent entertaining the crowd, with Santa Claus bringing the night to a close about 10.30pm.

"It's become a bit of family tradition," said Keji Adebeshin, from Henderson, who donned a Christmas hat and sang along to favourite carols with the rest of her family. "It's really fun, and the fireworks were great."

The event also featured NZ Idol judges Frankie Stevens and Jackie Clark, Nathan King from Zed and 11-year-old Ben Kara, who sang some Beatles favourites. Auckland's mayors - George Wood (North Shore), Sir Barry Curtis (Counties-Manukau), Dick Hubbard (Auckland City) and Bob Harvey (Waitakere) - also took the stage to read a Christmas poem.

Auckland City Council spokesman Mark Fenwick said the evening was a great success. 

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