WORDS & PHOTOS BY JULIA WADE
Hundreds of locals and visitors loaded with picnics, beach chairs and rugs made their way to Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) in the late afternoon of December 15 for an inaugural Mangawhai Christmas event.
Featuring a wide range of solo and group acts and talents including uplifting choirs, rocking bands, cultural dancers and even a funky hula-hoop performance, the show was well-received by the 800 strong audience.
Event organiser extraordinaire and emcee John Phillis – who also kick-started the return of Santa Parades to Mangawhai with the second spectacle held earlier in the day – says the stage is now set for a ‘Carols in the Park 2020’.
“The support from local businesses Limitless Scaffolding and Bayleys Real Estate helped to make it a very special day with the parade and concert, for the whole community,” he says. “The variety of entertainment was amazing, the youngest performer was seven and the oldest 77, and I want to thank and congratulate all who ventured onto stage for their outstanding performances… it certainly put the magic into a magical Mangawhai Christmas.”
Performers included Mangawhai Singers, Totally Uked, Hakaru Jam, Kaiwaka and Waipu Scottish Dancers, Maura Flower student singers, with individual acts by Mangawhai Beach School students and solo artist Michaela Pow.
In true environmentally conscious local fashion, organisers also want to thank concert-goers for keeping the area clean and relatively rubbish free.