The city centre will be a hub of creativity this Christmas with over 850 local artists and community members contributing to a unique Christmas experience in Tauranga.
Tauranga City Council, Incubator Creative Hub, Downtown Tauranga, and Our Place Tauranga will be hosting a range of activities and experiences to inspire and delight in the build up to Christmas.
Tauranga City Council Mayor Greg Brownless, said that the heart of the city will be a captivating place to visit in the build up to our favourite summer holiday period.
“This is an exciting time of year to come together as a community, celebrate our people and what makes us unique,”
“Creating a truly Tauranga Christmas here in the city is something we are proud to do, and with the support of local organisations and artists this year is going to be one of our best”
With the annual Trustpower Christmas Parade on Saturday, 1 December, the town will be a showcase of community spirit.
Throughout the month of December, there will be a host of events and experiences including a wearable art exhibition throughout the streets, a giant advent calendar opened each day, Māori festive banners designed by local artists and life size pohutukawa tree cut-outs lining the waterfront.
“This year will also be the first Christmas with Our Place and we are thrilled to have such a lively space for the whole family to visit every day of the week,” said Mayor Brownless
There will be a Christmas grotto at Our Place alongside a range of exciting community events including night markets and Christmas in the Park.
Downtown Tauranga Spokesperson Sally Cooke says the focus this year has been on creating unique and memorable experiences in the city centre for Christmas and it’s exciting to see it all taking shape.
“We love that when you visit the city centre you will experience something you can’t get anywhere else. From the giant advent calendar to the Trustpower Christmas Parade, the Heart in the city wearable art exhibition and all the events at Our Place, we have a lot to offer alongside our boutique shopping and dining experiences.
“It will be exciting for people to come and explore, to enjoy and to appreciate all the collaborative community effort that has gone into creating this experience,” said Ms Cooke.
Learn more about what’s on in the city centre this Christmas
Download our Heart of the City December Calendar (4mb pdf)
City centre Christmas decorations:
Māori festive banner collection
This year we have paired with the Incubator Creative Hub to invite talented local Māori artists to create original pieces for the city centre. The collection of 10 artworks are on display along the street lamps of the city and portray individual artists' interpretation of a Tauranga Christmas. They include tukutuki inspired designs, tiki and contemporary Pohutukawa patterns by some highly regarded New Zealand Māori artists including award winning artist Tawhai Rickard, and the celebrated artist Linda Munn. The 10 flags designs beautifully capture the fun colours of Christmas and the rich connection to our culture.
City centre pohutukawa trees
Our stunning wooden pohutukawa trees are out in the city again. This is a collaborative project with the Incubator Community Hub to engage with over 800 participants from Bay of Plenty Community groups. Over a series of 20 workshops, participants were able to contribute to a piece of visual art to adorn our 'New Zealand Christmas Trees'. Check out these beautiful pieces down along the waterfront bringing people together creatively.
Community gift boxes
This year you can discover bright colourful community gift boxes throughout the city. These larger than life creations are a result of a community workshop held at The Incubator Creative Hub bringing with 38 artists together to spend a day connecting with each other whilst painting their own unique box. This was a chance for local artists to showcase their creativity and help to decorate our city centre for Christmas.