The Ruapehu township of Raetihi is taking a different approach to this year's Christmas celebrations in the midst of the State Highway 4 closure.
A significantly larger Christmas celebration event is planned for Saturday in Raetihi, which will feature dozens of market stalls and performances by musicians.
Organiser and Raetihi Promotions Charitable Trust chairman Gary Griffin-Chappel said the bigger festival follows concerns the SH4 closure would reduce traffic to Raetihi.
"With this in mind it was decided that this year's event will be the biggest yet so the town has something positive to look forward to and refer on as we as a community look for an improved future."
State Highway 4 between Raetihi and Whanganui was closed in October after a slip. A temporary road is expected to open early next year.
The Raetihi Christmas Festival begins at 10am, which is when the market stalls will open with food and gifts on offer. Bands will perform into the evening.
"The stage this year will be on the grass area alongside Coach Cafe giving people a space where they can sit and relax, chill and listen to some awesome bands," Griffin-Chappel said.
A car and motorcycle show will be set up near the library.
Although the event has dropped "carnival" from its title in favour of "festival", a carnival atmosphere will still be found with games, a bouncy castle, and popcorn, candy floss and American hotdogs.
Organisers aim to be waste free, with support from Para Kore, in line with Ruapehu District Council's aspirations and Zero Waste 2040.
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Griffin-Chappel said he was grateful for the support the festival has received.
"The festival does rely on the generosity and act of kindness from within the community and the businesses that service the community.
"Given the location of Raetihi this extends well beyond our town along for sponsorship and gifts, and we are truly blessed with the generosity of our many sponsors."
The festival will be an opportunity for organisers to see how it can be turned into week-long event.
Griffin-Chappel said a Christmas market was held in Raetihi over the weekend, organised by another local trust.
"The idea is to work with them on how we can bring other things into play through the course of the week," he said.
Some ideas already being talked about for future years include screening Christmas movies at the Theatre Royal, or incorporating Christmas carol events into the week.
The Raetihi Christmas Festival is on Saturday December 14 from 10am to 7pm. The Christmas parade starts at 3.30pm.