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Locals to name Hamilton Christmas Elf

Locals to name Hamilton Christmas Elf

The Hamilton Christmas Elf needs a name, and children at Fairfield Kindergarten were the first to have their say this week.

The friendly life-sized elf has been introduced to Hamilton this year by the Hamilton Christmas Charitable Trust in an effort to make Christmas in Hamilton "even more magical" for local children and families.

In the coming months, the elf is set to attend three renowned Christmas events: Carols by Candlelight, New Zealand's Biggest Christmas Tree and The Hamilton Christmas Parade.

But first, the Trust is calling for local residents to have their say in what he should be called.

"We're running a competition to name The Hamilton Christmas Elf. All Hamilton residents and those from surrounding towns are eligible, and can enter via our website," Trust event manager Karen Watkins said.

"We visited Fairfield Kindergarten today, with kids suggesting all sorts of clever names including Jingles and Elfred. We want to collect as many as possible by 15 November. The winner gets an iPad Mini."

Mrs Watkins said the three Trust events, where the Elf will feature this year, has for many years helped to make Christmas "come alive" for people of Hamilton.

"Each year we endeavour to make them even better than the year before, for the benefit of the people of Hamilton and the wider Waikato region. Our new elf will be there this year to befriend children.

The Trust, which manages the three events, was established 10 years ago to ensure that events remain key features of Hamilton's Christmas calendar.

"Hundreds of families across Hamilton City, and the wider Waikato region, anticipate the Christmas Parade and the Hamilton Christmas Tree each year.

"This year, for the second year in a row, children and families also get to look forward to the return of traditional carols event, Carols by Candlelight, after a seven year break.

The Trust estimates, based on previous events, that a total of 40,000 people will attend the parade and the carols combined.

"Tens of thousands will also pass by the tree, which is a national icon valued by local, regional and national audiences.

This week the Trust also confirmed First Credit Union as the 2015 naming-rights sponsor for the parade and the carols events.

"None of these events would be possible without First Credit Union or our other sponsors and we look forward to working them, and our many volunteers, in the coming months," Mrs Watkins said.

In 2012, Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker launched the 'Hamilton Christmas City' brand in a bid to co-ordinate the city's December events and draw in more out-of-towners for the festive celebrations.

For more information, to take part in one of the three events, or to become a sponsor, visit hamiltonchristmas.co.nz . To enter the elf naming competition, visit hamiltonchristmas.co.nz/win

Event details:

  • New Zealand's Biggest Christmas Tree – First-lit on Saturday 28 November 2015. Continual lighting through to Wednesday 6 January.
  • The Hamilton Christmas Parade - Sunday 6 December 2015, 2pm to 4pm including pre-parade activities
  • Carols by Candlelight — Saturday 19 December 2015, 4.30pm – 7pm