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Christmas to launch next week at Light up the Night

The holiday season will arrive with a bang in Ashburton next week as the month-long Nights of Lights festival kicks off and it all begins at the headline event, Light Up the Night, presented by Tru-Line Civil on Friday 27 November.

People are encouraged to get to Baring Square East from 6pm to secure their spot around the stage and collect their free tickets into the Santa gift giveaways which will start being drawn every half-hour from 7pm.e

The night will feature music, carols, performances, face painting and a visit from Santa and his elves before the lighting of the town's giant Christmas tree at the end of the night. Trucks and diggers from the event's main sponsor, Tru-Line Civil will also be on site for kids to explore. This year's Santa gift giveaways will feature five gifts in three categories. A Nintendo Switch, two bikes and two scooters will be up for grabs in the Kids category; a $100 Chicago Joes gift voucher, Bluetooth headphones and speaker, a sea biscuit, Xbox One and a 24-inch mountain bike will be available in the Teen category; and for the Adults, participants could score a lawnmower, barbecue, Weber Baby Q portable barbecue, E-bike or a PlayStation 4. People simply need to be at Baring Square East on time to collect their three tickets and place them in whichever category or categories they'd like to win gifts from. They'll need to hang onto their half of the tickets to check if you've won. The gifts have been made available through a partnership between the Council and local businesses. Ashburton District Mayor Neil Brown says Light Up the Night is for every member of the family and shouldn't be missed. "Lots of planning has gone into this year's celebrations and we are so pleased to be bringing our community another standout event. "We can't wait to see everyone come together and celebrate the holidays after what has been an eventful and unprecedented year. Make sure you're there on time to be a part of all the festivities." Light Up the Night will start at 6.30pm on Friday 27 November after the 'Christmas with RuralCo' shopping event. The event and gifts are thanks to Tru-Line Civil, Noel Lemming Ashburton, Stoked Cycles, Chicago Joes, D & E Outdoors, The Warehouse Ashburton, Mitre 10 Mega Ashburton and Smith & Church.

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