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Hamilton’s Christmas Tree to shine brighter this year

Hamilton’s Christmas Tree to shine brighter this year

New Zealand's biggest Christmas Tree, located in Hamilton's Garden Place, is expected to shine extra bright this year with over 3,000 new lights hanging on its branches.

Hamilton Christmas Charitable Trust events manager Karen Watkins said the new lights have been added to ensure spectators get the "very best viewing experience this Christmas."

"Families come year-on-year to see the Hamilton Christmas Tree light-up. It's a regional tradition for countless people, and it's very important to us that it is well maintained and cared-for," she said.

"Not only will there be thousands of new lights, for the first time we are incorporating large gold stars on to the tree. It will truly be a magnificent Hamilton City feature this Christmas," she said.

New Zealand's Biggest Christmas Tree is first-lit on Saturday 28 November 2015 and will be continually lit through to Wednesday 6 January.

"Ultimately we want the tree to continue acting as a focal point for the community to gather, watch, and celebrate the festive season."

The iconic tree is over 6 stories high, reaching 27 metres tall to the tip of the star. It takes a team of 20 people to install the frame, fluff the branches, hang the baubles and string the more than 180,000 lights.

This year, for the second time, the Hamilton Christmas Charitable Trust is also working with Hospice Waikato to take donations from the public for remembrance stars.

"From early December anyone can donate and get a remembrance star, write, draw or decorate on-it the name of a loved one who has passed away, and hang it on the lower level of the tree," Mrs Watkins said. Stars are available from the iSite at the rear of Garden Place."

"Similarly to last year, the public can this year expect a better, and safer view of the tree thanks to John and Glenice Gallagher Trust and Trust Waikato.

"The fence around the tree is a, premium security, powder coated, New Zealand owned and produced fence," she said.

"The fence allows for considerably better viewing of the lower part of the tree and will look much better than the temporary fencing that has previously been around it."

A-Z Rigging & Scaffolding put up the tree and IndeServe work on the maintenance and installation. Both companies have been involved since year one as has Porters who assist with provision of the large booms used on site.

The Hamilton Christmas Charitable Trust is responsible for the tree. The Trust is also responsible for the Hamilton Christmas Parade and the return of Carols by Candlelight. First Credit Union is this year the naming rights sponsor for the Parade and the Carols.

The Trust also supports the Hamilton City Council Christmas City initiative, with the Council being a key sponsor along with NZME.

The following Christmas Events are run by the Hamilton Christmas Trust:

  • New Zealand's Biggest Christmas Tree – First-lit on Saturday 28 November 2015. Continual lighting through to Wednesday 6 January.
  • The Hamilton Christmas Parade - Sunday 6 December 2015, 2pm to 4pm including pre-parade activities
  • Carols by Candlelight — Saturday 19 December 2015, 4.30pm – 7pm