DESPTIE the weather, Tahlia van Boxtel-Malin and Victoria Bradney arrived early at Christmas in the Park to secure a good seat.
The inclement weather did affect numbers, but those who went enjoyed the festive celebration in Invercargill on Saturday.
Families gathered around the Queens Park band rotunda for the Christmas in The Park event.
Even with the rain, people set out their picnic mats and camp chairs to enjoy an afternoon of music, games, and celebrations.
Friends since preschool, Tahlia van Boxtel-Malin and Victoria Bradney arrived early to
secure ‘‘the best spot in the house’’.
They took the opportunity to catch up as the childhood friends were living in different cities for the first time.
Ms van Boxtel-Malin said they grew up together but her friend had moved to Wellington at the beginning of the year.
‘‘She came home this week to spend the holidays with her family and I’m taking advantage of this as I was missing her.
‘‘It is great being able to be with her, enjoying the day and catching up. It is our own Christmas celebration.’’
Locals Yvonne Gawn and Jenny Frasier dressed up for the occasion.
They said during the Christmas period, they wore their Santa costumes to each and any event.
‘‘It is our way to bring the holiday spirit,’’ Ms Gawn said.
They joked they were ‘‘Santa’s big helpers’’.
Organiser Blair Savory, of MASSAV Productions, said it had been a challenging year for everyone and he was eager to bring fun to families.
‘‘We have a world-class park here in town and Christmas is the perfect time to have a
family event to celebrate our community.