The founder of Ashburton’s Christmas in the Park hopes the event will stage next year.
Ashburton New Life pastor Lisa Anderson said she and fellow team members had not been able to hold it this year after increases in cost, and the amount of time and volunteers it would take to stage.
While the last event in 2019 had cost more than $25,000, to hold it again post-covid following huge increases in expenses for things such as lighting, sound and fireworks, it could cost $75,000.
‘‘It seems like a crazy jump, but that’s the reality,’’ Anderson said.
Christmas in the Park, held at the Ashburton Domain, attracts up to more than 10,000 people. It generally includes a headline act, which in the past have included Dave Dobbyn and the Topp Twins, alongside a wide range of local acts and spectacular fireworks.
Anderson said she had discussed with her team of organisers establishing a charitable trust for the event, with a person undertaking funding applications, as this would help bring in funds beyond the local business community.
‘‘We need to do some significant work on some foundational things for Christmas in the Park, so that it’s successful.’’
The event is held by the church, supported by the Ashburton Christian Ministers Association.
Mid Cantabrians are calling for the event to return, with more than 40 people commenting on a story in last week’s The Ashburton Courier about the event on the newspaper’s Facebook page.