Splashes of Christmas colour illuminate town

From the Vaisigano bridge to the Maritime School at Mulinu’u, Christmas lights and displays are being constructed across the town centre and on Friday night they drew crowds of families taking in the sights. 

Signs of the Christmas season even reached the front yard of the Government building, where palm trees and other decorations were spotted after being decorated by the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, the church's head of Christmas lights maintenance, Kevesi Burgess, who has been decorating Christmas lights said seeing people’s smiles means the display can already be considered a success.

“It’s a day I always look forward to every year [and] the majority does as well,” he said.

“It’s really satisfying to see families coming out to enjoy the work I do especially during such trying times like this year with the pandemic.”

A line of trees from the Vaisigano Bridge at Beach Road are progressively being decorated by the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C), the utility's Chief Executive Officer, Faumui Tuiiliili Iese, confirmed.

Although it has only been lit up for one night it proved one of the most eye-catching displays in a sea of colours.

“We’ve selected a [womann] to focus on the Christmas lights decorations because as we always say, they are the [best] at these kinds of things,” Fuaumui said in an interview.

“We are possibly the team with the largest decorations because we decorate from the Beach Road where those trees are [...] all the way to the other side from the road leading to McDonald's.

"It’s not just Christmas lights but also the electric poles and lights.

“We’re excited about this project and of course thank the Government for such a great initiative [...] to boost the spirit of Christmas while we worry about this [coronavirus] pandemic and lockdown.

"I’m sure every family is already looking forward to [it].”

The National University of Samoa's School of Maritime drew their own audience on Friday night envying their colourful leisure lights.

Next to the Maritime campus is the residence of the General Secretary for the Methodist Church who constructed a farm made of Christmas lights lighting up the corner of Apia.

A huge star filling up the Malaefatu reserve at Sogi was the site of a party of its own on Friday evening.

Amongst the crowd at Sogi was a family from Satapuala who heard about the Christmas lights covering the town area on Thursday.

Silila Taumaoe drove with his family to town in the afternoon to await the Christmas lights in the evening.

“We were always excited and keen for Christmas and when we heard about this in town we did not hesitate to drive all the way from Satapuala," she told the Samoa Observer. 

“We waited at one of our relative’s houses at Vaitele to await tonight and now that we’re here, we’re super excited and thank the Government for this beautiful idea.”

And they did not lack for choice of attractions on Fridays.

Decorations illuminated the buildings of the Fire and Emergency Service Authority; the Ministry of Police; the Development Bank of Samoa; the National Bank Building; the Samoa National Provident Fund. Even the Legislative and Courts Buildings joined in and bore displays of colour on Friday night. 

And there is the promise of more to come. 

The official lights festival programme will be officially launched on 11 December. The festival itself will be followed by an entire holiday season programme including entertainment, a Santa parade and fireworks display on New Year’s eve. 

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