Giant Auckland Advent calendar just the start

We've got the Santa Parade, the Whitcoulls statue and reindeer, and the Telecom Christmas tree. And to add to the list of things bringing Aucklanders together this Christmas will be the largest Advent calendar the city has ever seen.

Given that we celebrate Christmas in summer and that the newly expanded waterfront area is really starting to take off, Waterfront Auckland and local businesses have banded together to create an outdoor 12m-high Advent calendar at Silo Park, complete with doors on every square that open each day to reveal a Christmas-themed illustration.

The 25 companies involved range from Tip Top to SeaLink to Air New Zealand and have been invited to come up with a 3x3m image that represents Christmas to illustrate their calendar square. For example, PwC commissioned artist Dick Frizzell to create a piece of art that will then be auctioned off next year, with the proceeds going to the Auckland City Mission.

A range of music, outdoor cinema and other activities are also planned for the month of December.

It's hoped this will lead to an expanded central-city Christmas walk not unlike the Rugby World Cup fan trail, taking in both the Telecom Christmas tree in Victoria Park and the Franklin Road Christmas lights.

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