Thousands expected at concert

As Santa and his helpers get ready for Christmas in the North Pole, a host of busy workers are making preparations of their own at Napier's Anderson Park.

The venue is set to be transformed into a festive wonderland as thousands flock through the gates for tonight's Cox Partners Christmas in the Park.

"It takes around 200 volunteers to set up and run the event, which this year includes a state-of-the-art outdoor screen," event organiser David Trim, of the Kaisen Charitable Trust said.

"All the power has to be shipped in and we start from the ground and build everything from there," "We've just erected 1.5km of temporary fencing - the most we have ever put up, a reflection of the numbers that attend."

From 3.30pm, people can get along to the free event, which features local acts and choirs including Daniel Munro, Roy Brown, Margot Pierard, Scarpa Flow and Cameron Ferrick as well as headliners Late 80s Mercedes, from Hamilton.

Father Christmas is set to take time out of his busy schedule for an appearance and there will be an enormous fireworks display after dark, at about 9.30pm.

Classic Hits presenters Martin and Sarah are hosting this year's event and people are encouraged to bring a rug, picnic dinner, friends and family for an evening of festive fun.

"There will be a donation collection on the night to help support the event and ensure it remains free for years to come," Mr Trim said. "Proceeds will also go to the Salvation Army's Christmas Hamper Appeal."

Entertainment will start at 5pm.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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