The Waimakariri Light Party falls under the direction of the Reflections Community Trust, a charitable trust set up in 2002 and based in Kaiapoi.
Moving on from the extraordinary first half of this year following the Covid 19 lockdown, the Light Party is a wonderful opportunity for our community to gather together and have a fantastic time.
The Light Party is a “nation-wide” non-scary alternative to Halloween, and is a great option for parents who may not like the creepy side of the Halloween tradition, but at the same time, do not want their children to feel like they are missing out. The Trust aims to bring the local community together and put on a fun night for children and youth (aged between 4 to 14 years old), by providing family orientated, non-scary entertainment in a safe and positive environment. The Light Party effectively keeps children off the streets from trick or treating, an activity which can turn sour quite easily. Children and youth who attend also receive lollies handed out by our team of volunteers. Local householders, particularly the elderly have expressed their relief that there have been fewer children coming to their homes trick or treating on the evening of 31 October.
The Waimakariri Light Party is now in its 16th year, having provided to the community a safe alternative to Halloween since 2004. Starting from extremely humble beginnings of around 350 attendees – the event has now grown to more than 5,000 preschoolers, children, youth and families attending each year. The Light Party has become an iconic Waimakariri event for families, and although based in Kaiapoi, (Wylie Park is the most suitable venue in the Waimakariri area for the nature and size of the event) it is truly a Waimakariri wide event with participants attending from Kaiapoi (44%), Rangiora (24%), Woodend (9.5%), and with 13% attending from northern Christchurch suburbs. (Figures taken from 2019 survey of event.)
Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon will officially open the event at 4.30pm. The fun at the Waimakariri Light Party will kick-off with a multitude of entertainment including bungees, bouncy castles, pony rides, climbing walls, mini jeeps, water walkers and Pedalmania crazy bikes. A highlight of the night will be a non-scary fancy dress competition, followed by a fancy-dress parade. Additional entertainment will include a dog agility display by the Waimakariri Dog Training Club, and various stage performances. Clowns (Silly Billy Clown and Lieutenant Lou Lou), and magician, Josh Grimaldi, will be roaming around the event interacting with attendees.
Food will be available to purchase during the event from many community group food stalls and commercial good stalls.
The Light Party is an opportunity for local community groups, schools and churches to raise funds as well as promote themselves and be active in the community.
The Waimakariri Light Party relies on the generous support and donation of time from volunteers to manage the event, from the Committee to event marshals, activity participation, i.e. face painting, set-up and breakdown of the event, collection of rubbish… the jobs are endless. The Trust aims to ensure the Waimakariri Light Party remains accessible for all families to attend regardless of their financial situation. To date this has been achieved with the generous support of funding organisations, local Churches, service organisations and local businesses who provide funding, sponsored goods and voluntary hours to the event.
In 2015, the Reflections Community Trust reluctantly made the decision to introduce a $2.00 donation to enter the Light Party, to enable the Trust to continue to provide a high-quality event that is still very affordable for families and participants. The Reflections Community Trust aims to serve the children and their families in our community, by providing early intervention through quality effective and educational community based programmes, projects and events that are accessible to all people in our community to provide hope in the next generation.
This year's Waimakariri Light Party sponsors include RATA Foundation, Pub Charity Limited, Kaiapoi-Tuahiwi Community Board, CERT, Trust Aoraki Limited, The Lion Foundation, John Knox Presbyterian Church, Kaiapoi Anglican Church and Kaiapoi Baptist Church.
Note: The Waimakariri Light Party will only proceed at Alert Level 1.
For more information on the Waimakariri Light Party, please contact the Event Coordinator Tiana Wills on 022 431 2917 or email firstname.lastname@example.org