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Santa’s Workshop in Albert Square

Santa's Workshop in Albert Square

December 15, 2023 @ 7:00 pm December 25, 2023 @ 11:00 pm

As the sun sets over Hawke’s Bay, an enchanting Christmas experience is set to unfold, bringing the community together in the spirit of the season. From the 15th to 25th of December, Albert Square will become a whimsical world of wonder with “Santa’s Workshop,” a free community event that promises to captivate audiences of all ages.

Instigated and funded by Hastings District Council and designed by creative arts studio Vesica Aotearoa, the structure is built around shipping containers – a classic Kiwi fusion of art and industry. The 5-metre facade shows a two-story factory that magically transforms into Santa’s Workshop once the projected animation begins.

Some may remember last year’s display – an imaginative and high-tech take on Santa’s Workshop with tinkering elves creating, wrapping and dispatching gifts with their quirky state-of-the-art machine. This year, the animated journey has been extended to six minutes with the addition of new contraptions, an expanded workshop and a launchpad for Santa’s sleigh.

Funding from Hastings District Council, coupled with the success of last year’s event, has allowed expansion of both the physical structure and the original animations. Santa’s Workshop aims to become a cherished annual tradition for the Hastings community, fostering unity, joy, and the magic of the holiday season.

Local talents such as artist & architect Nick Wilkey, animator Isaac Walton, and composer Tom Pierard have joined forces under the guidance of Ant van Dorsten of Vesica, project manager and creative director of the joyful scene. The collaboration promises an immersive and wondrous Christmas experience for the families of Hawke’s Bay.

Vesica Aotearoa, also renowned for the enchanting Walk of Wonders light festival, sparks Christmas spirit with a free community event accessible to all. Be sure to dress the children in clothes that can get a bit messy – wooden pyramids initially crafted for Walk of Wonders will be repurposed as Christmas trees for children to paint & decorate, adding an interactive and creative element to the festive atmosphere.

Join us in celebrating the spirit of Christmas, as Santa’s Workshop transforms Albert Square into a magical realm. This free community event is a gift to the region to spread the joy & wonder of the season.

Event Details:

  • Dates: 15th – 25th December 2023
  • Animation: plays on a loop from sundown to late
  • Christmas Tree Painting: 11am-1pm on the 15th & 18-21st of December & the evening of 21st
  • Location: Albert Square, Heretaunga Street East, Hastings
  • Rush Munro’s: extended hours to 8:30 pm F/S nights during the event
100 Karamu Road South
Hastings, Hawke’s Bay 4122 New Zealand
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