Christmas is coming… Yes, the festive season is around the corner and excitement is building at Melrose Arch as Joburg’s favourite lifestyle destination gets ready to dazzle Gauteng with a spectacular display of lights and a new Fantasy Garden on the Piazza.
Melrose Arch’s Christmas lights will be switched on on Friday, 22 November, 2019 at 6.30pm and as in previous years, a special ceremony featuring some of South Africa’s most popular singers will be held to mark the occasion. Melrose Arch is pleased to announce that the ever-popular Mi Casa and Mzansi Youth Choir are the highlights of this year’s show.
The award-winning Mi Casa has been a favourite on the South African music scene since their inception in 2011 and their popularity continues to grow. The trio – J’Something, Mo-T and Dr Duda – behind hits like Jika, Your Body, Nana and Toca will get everyone singing and dancing as they wait for the lights to be turned on.
One of the best choirs in South Africa, the Mzansi Youth Choir is renowned for its pulsating energy and youthful enthusiasm and, of course, the choir’s incredible voices constantly attract rave reviews. The choir has performed with a host of superstars, including Beyoncé, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and Shakira, and has appeared on a number of shows, including Carte Blanche, The Voice, Idols, One World Music Festival and the Presidential Inauguration. The Mzansi Youth Choir will be spreading festive joy by singing everyone’s favourite Christmas carols.
At the end of the show, Melrose Arch MD Mike Vermaak will press the button, officially turning on the Christmas lights and signalling the start of Destination Christmas 2019. (All proceeds from Destination Christmas at Melrose Arch will go to the Smile Foundation, which is Melrose Arch’s CSI partner. Several events are held at Melrose Arch throughout the year to raise funds for the charity, such as the Walking on Sunshine Spring Walk and Sasfin Cyclethon. This Christmastime, stars on the giant Tree of Stars on the Piazza were sold to raise money for the Smile Foundation.) Visitors can then wander around and enjoy looking at the lights before heading to the Piazza to be amazed at the new Fantasy Garden.
The Fantasy Garden on the Piazza is sure to enchant adults and children alike. The Fantasy Garden will comprise four smaller gardens, each one fantastical and whimsical, with its own theme. Designed by three well-known landscapers, there’ll be an arid, water-wise garden, a more traditional green landscape, a vertical display and a bushveld-style garden in partnership with The Boucher Legacy, an organisation that fights rhino poaching. Beautiful during the day, the gardens will be breathtaking at night, when they will be enhanced by Christmas lights and illuminated displays. A golden carriage, a Chinese dragon, a picturesque snow scene and cute Christmas characters will delight children, while a canopy of fairy lights over the area will create a magical atmosphere in the area. For garden lovers, two visits to the Fantasy Garden, one during the day to see the garden’s natural beauty and the other at night to see its nocturnal transformation, will certainly be necessary. (South Africa’s water situation and the December heat have been taken into account and each garden has been designed to be water friendly.)
The Fantasy Garden on the Piazza will be open from 22 November to 22 December.
Of course, there’s more Christmas magic in store for Melrose Arch visitors this festive season. A Christmas market will be held on the Square from Wednesday, 27 November to Saturday, 30 November, from 4pm to 9pm. Christmas decor and gifts, special handcrafted items, delicious food and sweet treats, jewellery, ladies’ and kids’ clothing, toys, homeware, accessories and more will be available at the market.
Another Christmastime favourite, the well-known Jeppe Pipe Band, will return to Melrose Arch on Friday, 6 December at 6.30pm to add to the festive spirit in the precinct, playing favourites like Scotland the Brave, Jingle Bells, Amazing Grace and Little Drummer Boy.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa Claus, so Santa will be visiting whenever there’s an event taking place at Melrose Arch (ie. 22 November, 27 30 November and 6 December).
Extended shopping hours at Melrose Arch from 22 November to 23 December will give people plenty of time to shop, and those who are pressed for time can take their purchases to the gift-wrapping kiosk next to the Concierge Desk in the lower level Galleria where, for a small donation to HospiceWits, they can get their gifts beautifully wrapped.
“Christmas is a special time of the year, especially for families, and Melrose Arch is pleased to be able to help make the festive season a memorable one,” says Mike Vermaak. “We’ve pulled out all the stops this year’s Destination Christmas truly spectacular and we look forward to welcoming the people of Gauteng to our safe, beautifully decorated precinct.”
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