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Home and Away

star Tessa James will bring some Summer Bay glamour to Christmas in the Park tonight as she flies in for the festive family gathering.

James, who plays manipulative teenager Nicole Franklin, will be joined by co-star Josh Quong Tart at the free event, which is expected to draw more than 250,000 people to the Auckland Domain.

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The soap starlet is not making any Christmas appearances in Australia this year, choosing to spend the holidays with friends and family in Melbourne, but said she could not miss the chance to visit New Zealand.

"I've never been over there before so the opportunity just seemed one I couldn't pass up. I'm really excited about coming out."

But the 17-year-old said she would not be singing at the event, which will see pop'n'roll band Elemeno P perform, alongside the perennial favourites Jackie Clarke, Frankie Stevens and Tina Cross.

James said she was not familiar with the New Zealand performers set to appear at the event but would make an effort to read up on them first.

Her visit comes at the start of a four-week filming break for the TV soap, which wrapped shooting yesterday.

In New Zealand, the series is on a summer hiatus but will return to TV3 next year, when James says there will be "a lot of big stuff coming up". She also revealed her character's current "niceness" would not last very long.

Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park begins at 7.30 tonight and will end with a fireworks finale just after 10pm.

The event is free but volunteers will be collecting donations for Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

People are encouraged to take public transport to avoid congestion. For information visit www.maxx.co.nz or phone (09) 366-6400. There will be no parking within the Domain, but for disabled drivers an area will be set aside at the lower end of Carlton Gore Rd.

* The concert will screen on TV3 tomorrow night at 7.30.