Twinkling lights and the sound of Christmas carols filled the City Focus as people gathered around Rotorua's Christmas tree for tonight's light ceremony.
The lights were turned on at 7pm, with the Western Heights High School choir singing Christmas songs under the tree, and the Salvation Army band finishing off with a few tunes.
Rotorua Lakes Council project manager Mandy Godo said it was the perfect night to turn on the Christmas tree lights because it was also the return of the summer extension of the night market.
People were encouraged to bring cans along and drop them off for the Rotorua Daily Post Salvation Army foodbank appeal.
Ms Godo said it fitted in well with the community spirit of the Christmas tree lights being turned on.
She was excited about the lights going on on the tree, which this year sports more decorations than last year.
"I'm very excited to see it and we've tried to incorporate the wood in the tree to give it a local flavour, using wood in some of the decorations alongside the traditional, classic ones."
They had also used the decorations to try to represent Rotorua's biculturalism, she said.
"It's a lovely project to be part of because it's a feel-good project everyone can relate to."
Rotorua's Anne Whittaker said she thought the tree was lovely.
"It's quite nice having this in the centre."
She planned to bring her Japanese student along to see the lights and the night market.
Jemma McDonald said the tree was lovely and her 2-year-old was excited about the tree's lights coming on.
She said having the tree in the City Focus brought the community together.
James McGregor, 7, said the tree looked sparkly and colourful.