Hundreds of punters are expected to flood the Whangārei Town Basin tomorrow to enjoy delicious food, live entertainment, and a spot of late-night shopping.

The annual Christmas at the Town Basin is on, and with The Canopy Night Market on the same night the waterfront will be buzzing with people.

"It was a really nice atmosphere down there last time and we thought it worked well," said Petra Gray, the Whangārei District Council community events co-ordinator.

"We gave the date we were going to do it this year to Leeann (the organiser of the night market) and said 'it's completely up to you whether you want to do it on the same night,' so that's cool."

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The festive event, which runs from 5pm to 7.30pm, will have live entertainment including the Whangārei Brass and Pipe Band, Empire Dance Studio and the Boat Shed Fashion Show.

Gray said while it was a Christmas event it was also an opportunity for the retailers to get involved.

"The eateries are open late and there's a few retailers who've come back and said 'yes, we're definitely staying open late and we're going to offer some specials,' so they really get involved too and I think they do enjoy it," she said.

"It also gives everyone a chance to do a bit of late-night shopping."

Gray said the entertainment will be based on the raised cobblestone stage opposite Mokaba Cafe, which will be easy to find because the giant 6m Christmas tree was expected to go up there yesterday, depending on the weather.

Gray said last year was the first time the event was held on the same night as the markets and although she could not put a number on how many people showed up, it was "definitely in the hundreds".

"It went really well. It was really popular. I think there was a really cool cross-over of people who had come to each event or had heard that both were on. It was a really great turnout last year and I think the weather really helped too to because it was a really beautiful evening."

Gray said the Christmas tree which goes up in the Cameron St Laneway will be at the Christmas Festival at Northland Events Centre - on Saturday, December 8 - before it is erected in the CBD a few days later.

"We're really excited about it because we haven't had a big Christmas tree at the stadium for a few years now," she said.