The biggest Christmas lunch in town has again brought more than 400 people together to celebrate community and the festive season.

About 450 meals were served up at the Wanganui Function Centre for the annual City Mission Christmas Dinner on Wednesday.

Preparations have been underway for about three weeks and 85 volunteers have been on deck for the past two days to pull it off.

"The last two weeks have been all about the Christmas lunch," City Mission Whanganui manager Karrie Brown said.

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"A lot of volunteers come - they actually say we're helping them by allowing to them come and do it because otherwise they'd just be sitting at home."

Tim Davies entertained with carols before the meal and there were presents handed out to children and spot prizes for adults.

"The whole thing is about making sure there's people spending Christmas Day in an enjoyable way with others and not feeling alone - and it works for volunteers and guests," Brown said.

She said Pak 'n Save, Ali Arc and Mars Petcare had been big supporters of the dinner.

Tim Davies entertained guests at the Wanganui Function Centre. Photo / Bevan Conley.
Tim Davies entertained guests at the Wanganui Function Centre. Photo / Bevan Conley.

"The gifts have kept coming through the door from businesses, individuals, families," Brown said.

"We've probably got about 70 children with tickets and we do cater for a lot of the elderly.

"I think it's pretty good - I mean, Christchurch are putting on a meal today for about 1000 people and they're a big city. We've got 450 with abut 44,000 population."

The City Mission Christmas Dinner served about 450 people. Photo / Bevan Conley
The City Mission Christmas Dinner served about 450 people. Photo / Bevan Conley