Thousands of people flocked to Christmas at the Park on Saturday night.

The free annual event at Anderson Park in Greenmeadows was hailed a huge success by organiser David Trim.

However, according to comments on Facebook many people found the experience far from pleasant.

The main complaint was "tweens" who were apparently running riot. One person posted: "Most of the night our families could not see the stage due to herds of kids standing in front of us, let alone hear the singing. They were swearing, smoking, had derogatory things on their clothes made from orange stickers."


Someone said they saw a young girl handcuffed and taken away by police. Not a sight most people would want their children to witness.

Others complained about adults smoking and drinking at what was supposed to be a family event. There were also plenty of people who said they had a fantastic time and didn't have any problems.

One person posted: "We were to the right of the stage, was a great night, saw no trouble at all, saw plenty of young kids running around covered in orange stickers but they certainly were not causing trouble, just having fun. We have been the last 3yrs and enjoyed every one of them."

Amazing how people see things through different eyes.

I'm sure the organisers would be upset to learn people didn't enjoy themselves. A huge amount of time and effort goes into organising events like this.

Any free event held at that time of the day is going to attract undesirables.

Hopefully by next year all our parks in Hawke's Bay will be smoke-free so that will take care of that problem.

So keep supporting it. Let's not let a small group of people ruin it for everyone else.