Huntly community called upon to help pull together Christmas event

October 16, 2017

Timara Rapana has to think about Christmas decorations early this year as she is in the midst of planning Huntly's end of year event with a new committee.

A change of hands has meant the traditional float parade won't be featured at Huntly's Christmas event this year. 

The Huntly Events Committee informed the Huntly Community Board a few months ago that it was unable to plan the event this year.

"I think part of it is the way things have gone with everything, with the additional paperwork and everything… it was encroaching on the personal lives of the people running it," former committee member Quintin Lichtwark said.

"In discussions in amongst our committee we felt going back to the community board was the best outcome because it allowed the community to sort out what it wanted to do."

It was a big job for the core group of up to six members which all became too much, he said.

But it wasn't a decision taken lightly. 

"Sad in one way because there's not many things in Huntly that celebrates itself, it was one of my big reasons for getting behind it."

Lichtwark said the committee was still in the process of figuring out where the equipment and leftover funding will go. 

There will still be a festive event with Growing Swag's Timara Rapana leading the way.

The dance crew owner and operator established a new group, Huntly Community Angels.

"Everyone thinks I'm crazy," she said.

A float parade was ruled out due to the expense associated with closing off the roads and the timeframe meant it was too late to get enough funding, she said. 

Instead there were plans to do a Christmas wearable arts show and Christmas in the Park with performances at the Huntly Domain.

To make it happen, she needs every bit of help from the community though.

There are the little things like marquees, a sound system, security and print-outs for instance.

MCP Clothing is one business that has come to the party with sponsored signage, she said.

Rapana is also putting the word out to have food trucks and stall holders on the day.

She's also hoping to create an affordable day out with rides as well but that is yet to be secured.

"The whole idea now is to have an old fashioned carnival."

Plans are still in the works to determine exactly what will happen but one thing is for sure, there will be Christmas in Huntly, she said. 

"I'm a bit worried but no matter what, something will be done on the second of December.

"I think ever since moving to Huntly, the Christmas parade was the only thing Huntly had where everyone came together."

Lichtwark said the Huntly Events members were still happy to help in  some way and he wished the new group all the best. 

"I hope the community of Huntly strongly supports that just like they've supported the Christmas parade in the past."

If you'd like to help, contact Timara Rapana on 021 540 474 or

website here © 2017 Fairfax New Zealand Limited

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