16th June 2022 update – Winter is here but so is the festival!

I probably don’t need to say it but, Winter is here!
As I sit in my office looking out the window, the wild wind and the driving, cold rain is suggesting that I will have to work hard to keep the winter blues away. The cold and wet season hasn’t typically my favourite time of the year.
Last month we felt all warm and fuzzy over the success of the Emergency Services Dinner and to be honest, just thinking about it now and remembering how happy all our guests were is almost enough to make me forget about the cold rain.
From a sales perspective, I have always found that as we head into winter, it can get harder to convince people to make a decision to purchase items. Unless of course, those items are warm winter clothes or heaters! As a shopper, I always like to pop into a business that has a sign on the door saying, “Come inside it’s lovely and warm”, because I know that I can take my time to browse without freezing.
Spare a thought for the tradies out there working in appalling conditions. I can remember my first job as a plumbing apprentice, having to crawl around under houses fixing burst pipes in the middle of a Christchurch winter! The tradie experience during winter can be rough though their services are still very much needed. Let’s cut them some slack if they forget to take their boots off every now and then before entering our properties.

But winter doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! We have a Business Support Workshop Series and many Community Events to look forward to. (See listed below)
Coming up we have the highly anticipated Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights! Let’s encourage as many businesses as possible to light up their shops and business to really make the town shine. There’s even a $500 Mitre 10 voucher to give away for the best light display. Let’s light up the town beautifully and welcome the crowds back to see.
On the 9th of July the Parade of Lights will have the wharf buzzing with glow-in-the-dark face-painting, novelty rides, a bouncy castle, a light tunnel, live music, and yummy food! While the event will start at 3pm and go until 9pm, the parade itself begins at 6pm in the PaperPlus carpark. This parade is an opportunity for you to promote your business. Enter the parade and light up a vehicle or even a willing staff member. Get creative! Perhaps if you are a plumber – put some wheels and lights on a cylinder or a toilet and roll that down the road with your company name on it, let your imagination run wild!
Last year we estimated around 6000 people out on the streets and down on the wharf during the Parade and again there will be plenty to do and see and get involved in. Entertainment for the whole family! Something we all deserve after the year we’ve just had.

Lastly,  the festival’s grand finale, the Laser Light Show on Baxter Street on the 23rd of July.  This event also attracts many people into town so please make the most of these business promotion opportunities. Note, that there will be some road closures during the Festival but it is only for one day so don’t panic. Enjoy the buzz and the influx of potential new customers to your business.
The Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights is a chance for retailers and businesses to look at how their business could benefit from the town’s destination promotion and increased foot traffic into the area. If you would like more information about your business’s possible involvement in the festival, email mahulightfest@gmail.com The more the merrier. We are Stronger Together!

Murray Chapman
Manager, One Mahurangi Business Association

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