Monday, December 18, 2023

A Joyful Multicultural Christmas Celebration in Washbourn Gardens, Richmond.

Christmas Tree in Washbourn Gardens, Richmond. Photo credit Anne-Maree Therkleson.

Richmond Celebrates a Memorable Christmas Evening in Washbourn Gardens

In a heartwarming celebration organised by the Tasman District Council and Welcoming Communities Tasman, Washbourn Gardens in Richmond came alive on Saturday evening December 16, 2023. 

This festive gathering, blending multicultural elements with Christmas cheer, marked International Migrants Day and welcomed newcomers to the diverse Tasman community.

As the clock struck 6 pm, families and individuals convened for the Multicultural Picnic and Christmas festivities. The evening kicked off with a lively multicultural picnic, accompanied by family-friendly craft activities and an open mic session for musical performances, creating an atmosphere of joy and unity.

Multicultural Christmas in the park Richmond, Tasman. Photo credit Anne-Maree Therkleson

Santa and his elves, had a demanding yet entertaining job, engaging with children both amidst the crowd and in a Christmas-themed play area. With his characteristic jolliness and festive spirit, Santa brought smiles to the faces of young and old alike, adding a delightful touch of comedy to the celebration.

Santa surrounded by children. Photo credit Anne-Maree Therkleson.

All different nationality food carts, a coffee cart, and various kids' activities kept everyone entertained. The Richmond Volunteer Fire Brigade stood by, ready to assist Santa in his festive endeavours.

One of the food trucks. Photo credit Anne-Maree Therkleson.

Washbourn Gardens, adorned with bright coloured floodlights and bunting of multinational flags, became an enchanting spectacle. The trees and shrubs, illuminated in a vibrant tapestry of lights, added a layer of magic to the festive atmosphere, creating a breathtaking visual display that captivated all who attended. All the while the melodic notes of the music resonated from the park, wafting throughout Richmond.

Washbourn Gardens with bright coloured floodlighting. Photo credit Anne-Maree Therkleson

The picnic and open stage activities unfolded between 6pm and 8pm, preceding the commencement of the enchanting carol singing. As the carols began, the crowd, now settled from the earlier festive activities, became remarkably attentive, basking in the wonderful music and joining in the collective joy of the season.

The transition from the picnic to the carol singing marked a shift in the evening's ambiance. The Nelson Brass Band, Salisbury Road youth band, and the enchanting Take a Chance Singers filled the air with beloved Christmas tunes. Pianist Louis Lucas Perry and Samantha Baxter from Musical Theatre New Zealand added a magical touch to the musical repertoire.

The Take a Chance Singers. Photo credit Anne-Maree Therkleson.

Candles were lit during the carol singing, casting a warm glow across the crowd and enhancing the enchanting atmosphere of the evening as it became darker. This luminous touch added to the overall charm of the celebration.

In a heartening display of community engagement, the Tasman Youth Council, comprising enthusiastic teens from across the district, demonstrated their commitment to making a positive impact. During the Christmas in the Park event and the recent Speak Up event, the youth council collected an impressive sum of $236.40. These dedicated young individuals not only contributed to the festive ambiance but also worked diligently to raise funds for a noble cause. The proceeds from their efforts will be directed towards Youthline, reflecting the council's collective effort to support and uplift the well-being of youth in the community. Their initiative exemplifies the spirit of giving and community involvement, embodying the true essence of the holiday season.

The Tasman Youth Council. Photo credit Tasman District Council.

I wondered around Richmond for a few minutes to explore what was happening, on this wonderful evening elsewhere, I discovered an unexpected serenity. Everything was quiet, with only the Christmas lights on Queen Street flickering in the distance and Pak’nSave appearing empty. However, the tall Christmas tree in Washbourn Gardens twinkled with Christmas lights, creating a distant yet radiant beacon of the festivities in the Park.

Washbourne Gardens. Photo credit Anne-Maree Therkleson.

In this festive spirit, the Tasman District's Christmas event successfully bridged the gap between cultures and created lasting memories. Whether engaging with Santa's playful antics, enjoying the multicultural festivities, or becoming immersed in the beauty of the carols and the illuminated gardens, everyone enjoyed the unity and goodwill that defines the Christmas season. The Tasman District and Welcoming Communities Tasman truly demonstrated the essence of a welcoming community, where diversity is celebrated, and the joy of Christmas is shared by all.

More photos of the event below:-

Organised by Tasman District Council Te Kaunihera o te tai o Aorere and Welcoming Communities Tasman.

Generous sponsorship for this event also from Atkinson Crehan Law. 

The Nelson Brass Band. Photo credit Anne-Maree Therkleson.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond. 18 Dec 2023.
Merry Christmas from the team here at Pigeon Post.

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