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Auckland’s City Centre Lights Up for Christmas

Press release
Tuesday 30 Nov 2021

The city centre will light up with the magic and wonder of Christmas this December as Heart of the City brings the ‘Christmas Festival’ to Auckland with experiences for all to enjoy. From a spectacular light show to world-class shopping and hospitality experiences, the heart of the city is the place to be this festive season.

With experiences set to delight and charm young and old alike, this year’s headline attraction is the spectacular ‘Christmas Light Show in Te Komititanga’, presented by Heart of the City, Auckland Council, and Commercial Bay.

Heart of the City Chief Executive Viv Beck says, “The city centre is the place to be this December. After the year we’ve had, this is an exciting time to welcome Aucklanders into the city, to visit, celebrate and connect with each other this festive season – the city is dressed for Christmas and ready to go.

“People can now look forward to being together again, and after a day of Christmas shopping, they can sit down and enjoy a meal, then wander through to watch the magical Christmas Light Show in Te Komititanga,” says Viv.

The large scale projected light show will illuminate the entire Chief Post Office (CPO), spanning 55 metres wide and 32 metres high. Each evening it will take audiences on a delightful festive journey, bringing the spirit of wonder and joy to the heart of the city and allowing people to safely reconnect outdoors and immerse themselves in the spirit of Christmas.

Aucklanders will embark on a Christmas adventure starting in the heart of the city, before travelling by magic stardust to the North Pole and into Santa's Workshop. Along the way, they can dance with mischievous elves, watch as toys and presents are made and wrapped, and spot Santa's sleigh as he wings his way to the Southern Hemisphere, spreading some much-needed Christmas joy in his wake.

The ‘Christmas Light Show in Te Komititanga’ will run from 8.45 pm -11 pm daily from 3 December until Christmas Eve, with frequent running times designed to allow space for audiences to move through the square and enjoy the lights safely.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “Aucklanders and Auckland businesses have had an incredibly tough time this year, bearing the brunt of COVID-19 restrictions that have locked the city down for more than 100 days.

“It’s great to see Auckland Council partner with Heart of the City and Commercial Bay to support the Christmas Light Show in Te Komititanga. I hope it encourages people back into our city centre to enjoy world-class dining, nightlife, hospitality and shopping

“It’s also a great way of showing off Te Komititanga, one of the several fantastic public spaces that have helped to transform our downtown and make it a more people-friendly, exciting and attractive place.”

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties Chief Executive, adds, “It’s great to see the city come to life again and we’re excited to light up Te Komititanga with our partners as Aucklanders come back to shop, dine and socialise at Commercial Bay. There’s plenty of reasons to come into the city centre with lots of experiences to enjoy throughout December.”

Alongside the magical light show, there’s a light forest and giant baubles in Te Komititanga. There’s new festive lighting by Angus Muir Design illuminating the trees along Queen Street, to wow the whole family. Meanwhile, the Farmers Building is lit up from 8 pm every evening.

The magic of Smith and Caughey’s windows and Santa’s Enchanted Forest is also back for 2021 with advance bookings proving it’s just as popular as ever.

The wider city centre is also dressed for Christmas - over 200 banners, angels, doves and globes adorn the streets, and icons - the Vector Lights on the Harbour Bridge, Queen Street Lights, Sky Tower and The Civic will be lit making the city centre feel alive with seasonal wonder.

Christmas experiences in the heart of the city don’t stop with lights - Commercial Bay has Santa’s Mail Machine, and the Britomart live sessions brings music to Takutai Square right through until Christmas. The heart of the city has got all Aucklanders’ Christmas shopping, dining, and socialising needs covered.

A full list of the Christmas experiences happening in the heart of the city can be found on the Heart of the City website from 1 December:

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