Share your special memories of Santa here
He's towered over Aucklanders each festive season for the best part of six decades. But now the city's giant Santa is set to retire after one final Christmas and a fitting public send-off.
The 19-metre Santa Claus, whose most recent home each festive season has been the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets in the city centre, will appear one last time from Sunday 10 November before hanging up his red coat for good on Friday 10 January.
Despite his place in the hearts of many, the larger-than-life Santa is weary after nearly sixty years of service.
We know Santa is well-loved by many Aucklanders but sadly, for a combination of reasons it is time to retire this model. We love Santa too so it wasn’t an easy decision but to store, maintain and assemble Santa costs over two hundred thousand dollars a year and with another refresh due imminently, now is a fitting time for Santa to take a well-earned rest.
However this is not the end of Christmas in the city centre. We're already underway in thinking about how Christmas could be celebrated here in the future, and in the new year we will involve the city centre community in exploring what Christmas 2020 and beyond could look like.
From 1960 when Santa was installed on the Farmers building on Hobson Street to the current day where he is accompanied by two giant reindeer and presents on Queen Street, Santa has been a joyous part of Auckland’s Christmas tradition so let's give him the send-off he deserves.
If you would like to say goodbye to Santa and share your special memories please upload them here or share them on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #FarewellSanta. They will then be published on our website - heartofthecity.co.nz/farewellsanta.
Heart of the City is committed to celebrating the festive season in the city centre with vibrancy and colour. From larger-than-life baubles and decorations to Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Smith & Caughey’s, there is plenty to experience. We will be holding our Late Night Christmas event on 19 December, which is not to be missed, featuring over 90 street performances and over 125 stores open late.