For all things, Jolly, Joyful and generally Christmassy, Papakura is your one stop Christmas stop this year. Having always had always had a strong community spirit, varied retail base with numerous eatery options, your local town centre has pulled out all the stops to make this festive season the best ever!
During the Christmas season, the Papakura Business Association will be heavily involved in dressing up the town with decorations, flags and the beautiful Christmas lights on the tree in centre court by the fountain.
This will be accompanied by 30 wooden trees which have been given out to schools, kindergartens and daycares around the area, to encourage the children to decorate.
“The trees have been delivered, the children are excited, and we can’t wait to see how amazing they look when finished and are on display” says Tracy. Participating businesses will have their tree delivered by the school during the week commencing November 26th and these will be put outside to dress the footpath and will be provided with a small sign saying which school has created it.
A scavenger hunt competition is also planned for the town centre, with children invited to enter. Participating retailers will have a Christmas bauble with a unique number, which the children must find. The Scavenger Hunt will start on December 1st and run to December 20th with winners advised on December 21st. Check out the entry form on page xxxxxxxxxx
Throughout the season, there will be regular entertainment in the town square each Saturday during December to make your season shopping all the more festive and enjoyable.
Don’t forget to diarise the arrival of the Big Man, ‘Santa’ will arrive in Papakura December 2nd with the not to be missed Rotary Papakura Christmas parade, a great fun day out for all, with live entertainment, activities, retail specials culminating with the parade from 3 pm in town. “Last year there was over 35 floats and there is still time for businesses and organisations to book their float for this year’s event,” says Tracy.
For those who love to sing, Carols in the Park follows soon after the parade December 7th from 5.30 pm. “It is always a great family night to enjoy in our beautiful park with Christmas carols and entertainment. Bring your picnic and blanket and the family and enjoy.”
There will also be a chance to get a photo taken with Santa from the 13th to the 22nd December, from 11am - 3pm, every day except for Sunday. You can find him in his grotto at 6 Broadway. “This was extremely popular last year and Santa was kept very busy. Gift wrapping will also be available where shoppers can have Christmas presents wrapped for a gold coin donation to support the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.”
In recent years, Papakura has flourished from being a small town to a successful business hub, with a variety of great food, entertainment and shopping options for locals. This is, partly in thanks to the hard work behind the scenes of Papakura’s Business Association who work tirelessly with a number of stakeholders to put Papakura on the map. An example of this is the Proud Papakura Proud (PPP) programme which has been re-endorsed by the Papakura Local Board, and will continue to gather momentum. Initiated by the Papakura Business Association, PPP includes a range of initiatives designed to support Papakura in being a safe, healthy, culturally diverse community where we everyone trusts and supports each other.
The inaugural Papakura Street Festival kicked off the initiative, with over 3,000 people attending the event and in September of this year, the Business Association held the third event in the Tikanga Talks series which celebrated the Papakura High School Story along with the heritage of the our Papakura Marae.
Another example of the initiative is The Corner Creative Space, a creative community space for young people situated in a vacant shop in O'Shannessey Street in Papakura. Open since May, the Corner has quickly become a thriving and integral part of Papakura's creative community.
The Corner is regularly booked and used by different community groups and individuals and it has strongly affected several young lives in Papakura. Regular events take place every week - these include classes, workshops, community group gatherings, meetings and mentoring sessions - and there are also have special workshops and events that are one-offs.
The Corner and young talented artists from Papakura are the ones who have worked with Countdown and Landlords in town and produced the three outstanding murals in the town centre. “We are blessed to work with and have such talent in our town”. says Tracy.
The association has also had a lot to do with the town centre revitalisation project which organised a variety of beautification projects in the area including planters around the town, murals and pohutukawa trees down the main street.
“We spent many hours getting the planters into town, filling them with dirt and planting the trees,” says Papakura Town Centre Manager, Tracy Shackleton. “They look gorgeous and have received a lot of positive comments. They will look fabulous once they grow and develop. Thanks to our sponsors and the committed group of volunteers who got this in place.
It’s all part of what makes Papakura the great place it is, so whether you are hunting for a special Christmas gift for a special someone, just doing your regular family gift shopping or grabbing a bite to eat, check out all the happenings in Papakura this Christmas season!
Check out www.papakura.co.nz for more information.
The future for Papakura is exciting, it is zoned as a Metropolitan Centre; a zoning second only to the Auckland city centre in overall scale and intensity. It will become an area which will act as a focal point for community interaction, commercial growth and development and will contain hubs serving high frequency transport.
To ensure a coordinated approach to projects in Papakura, the Papakura Local Board have established a Commercial Project Group which brings the Papakura Business Association, Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development and the Local Board together. They have developed a new Framework for Action for the centre, which provides an inspirational view of the existing opportunities in the centre and brings forward a new vision for the centre.
The Framework for Action sees Papakura as a centre which boasts a range of high quality shopping and eating/dining options, and which in particular provides for healthy and active lifestyles, and as an attractive environment, with trees and other landscape planting, where shoppers and visitors can easily move around on generous footpaths and are encouraged to spend time and are able to sit and eat outside.
A place which supports complementary uses at ground floor, cafes/restaurants, commercial and residential at first floor and residential on higher floors whilst maintaining the character of the existing buildings. Existing fine-grained street and pedestrian lane networks will remain and be supplemented with a series of new and upgraded routes, to allow improved pedestrian access through the centre making Papakura a destination.