Television personality Petra Bagust will MC A Night Before Christmas, the Bay of Plenty's largest free Christmas party.

A Night Before Christmas (presented by Bethlehem Baptist Church) returns in its 22nd year delivering a four-hour bonanza of free family fun and entertainment.

The line-up this year includes a former Bethlehem College student turned successful musician, a well known television personality, a Kiwi rock star, a prominent cultural performing arts group and a renown soprano.

Former Bethlehem College student Georgia Lines — who has gone from strength to strength since winning the national title of Smokefree Rock Quest solo/duo in 2014 — will perform, along with Nathan King, who has been in the business for many years.


"Nathan and his band Twin Cities are proudly sponsored by local business and community supporters GJ Gardner who have helped grow this much loved event for many years," organiser Luisa Schroder says.

Last year, Te Kapa Haka o Te Reo Whakakoko o Mauao kicked off the event and are returning this year.

Audience members will also be treated to the beautiful voice of soprano Felicity Tomkins.

At least another six entertainers are still to be announced.

The night is pegged as a festive variety show of live music, dance, carols culminating in a massive fireworks display.

Schroder says the Christmas event has been snowballing over the years and reached its zenith last year with close to 13,000 visitors and they expect more this year.
More people are coming from out of town as well, she says. "I know of many visitors who mark it on their Christmas calendar to come to Tauranga and celebrate with friends and family."
The event is free, has always been free and endeavours to remain free in years to come, Luisa says.

"We want to keep it that way as we want people from all walks of life to come and experience this amazing event with such high calibre talent. It is such a fun family event."

A Night Before Christmas is a free family event on Saturday, December 22 at Bethlehem College's front fields. Gates open 5pm with food trucks or take your own picnic. Alcohol is not permitted.
Entertainment starts at 5.30pm and ends with the fireworks display.
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The line-up

● Petra Bagust — event host and MC

Petra is a Kiwi television and event presenter. She's most recognisable as a past co-presenter on TVNZ's Breakfast. She has been a regular MC of Auckland's Christmas in the Park.

● Nathan King
Nathan has been part of the New Zealand music scene for more than 20 years. His beginnings were with rock band Zed as lead singer and songwriter. Zed went on to win awards including best album, vocalist and band at the New Zealand Music Awards. Nathan performs with new band Twin Cities.

● Soprano Felicity Tomkins
Felicity Tomkins, 22, a Sir Edmund Hillary scholar and Adastra Foundation scholar alumnus, is now studying music and science at the University of Waikato. Last year she won the University of Waikato Aria Competition and gained her ATCL Trinity College of London diploma in classical singing (performance) with distinction.

● Te Kapa Haka o Te Reo Whakakoko o Mauao
Te Kapa Haka o Te Reo Whakakoko o Mauao competed at the Nga Kapa Haka Tuarua o Aotearoa in 2016 and are considered a premier cultural group in New Zealand.