A new look for Christmas in the Park celebrations

Vanuatu’s popular, annual Christmas in the Park event will move from Port Vila’s seafront to Saralana Park this year.

Hosted by the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation, the event will run from 2–5 December.

Christmas in the Park always draws a large and enthusiastic crowd and VBTC spokesperson Lilon Bongmateur says because of its growing popularity, the festivities will move from the usual Feiwa Seafront Park venue to Saralana Park.

Ms Bongmateur says the Feiawa Seafront Park has just become too small for the event.

“The event’s committee really want this to be a big family event that will bring everyone together to celebrate the spirit of Christmas in a safe, fun and loving environment,” Ms Bongmateur said.

She says 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, “The people have gone through a rough time with the Cyclone Harold disaster for the northern provinces and the massive impact of COVID-19 on the economy.”

“We believe that there is a real need to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and end the year with happiness,” she said.

She says the event’s committee has also decided to replace the usual event competitions with a shift in focus onto celebrating the birth of Jesus, which was the inspiration behind Christmas in the Park, when it started in 2009.

VBTC says there will nit be competitions but there will still be the popular children’s games, with the young people taking part receiving gifts.

“There will be egg and spoon and jumping-in-sacks races, tugs of war, face painting and plenty more.

“A manger will be built and displayed at the event so people can see how a manger looks and a huge Christmas tree will be set up for people to put gifts under, and they will be given to kids in communities who have no opportunity to receive Christmas gifts.”

Ms Bongmatur says in the evenings throughout the event, there will be performances of Christmas carols and skits that church and youth groups will perform and stalls will be selling food and other merchandise.

“On the 5th of December, the Namatan Short Film Festival finale will feature at the event, hosted by the Australian High Commission, and the celebrations will finish with a display of fireworks,” she said.

Meanwhile stalls will also be available and go on sale soon.

For more information please contact: Ms Lilon Bongmatur (lbongmatur@vbtc.vu)

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