Performers primed as Wakatipu’s first outdoor Xmas show takes shape

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Tickets are selling fast for Queenstown’s first outdoor Christmas spectacular tonight (Saturday).

A crowd of thousands is expected to turn out for the Shotover Jet Christmas Cracker concert at the downtown Queenstown Recreation Ground.

A giant stage went up in the middle of the ground mid-week – and the more than 300 singers, dancers and performers have been doing sound checks since yesterday.

Organiser Simon Green says there’s a cool buzz growing among the performers who are all local and from Wanaka for the family-friendly event, which is similar to Christchurch’s annual Christmas in the Park.

The 300-plus performers include music acts, dancers, the local pipe band and yes, the jolly red fat man Santa. 

Doors open from 6pm and the show starts half an hour later – with Green saying the first half focuses on Christmas and the second half morphs into a concert.

A blast of fireworks is also promised from behind the stage as darkness settles in.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for kids with money raised going to the Queenstown Lakes Family Centre – they can be bought down at the ground now.

It’s bring your own drinks – booze is okay – plus food stalls and a child’s fun park will be running.

Green says there’s capacity for about 5000 people, but numbers will depend on the weather.