It is time for the ‘switching on of the lights’ at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. Yes, the lifestyle destination is getting ready to dazzle Gauteng with a spectacular display of lights and a new Fantasy Garden on the Piazza.
When the lights go on tonight 22 November from 18:30, they won’t be switched off again until 5 January 2019.
A special ceremony
During the ‘light switch on’ a special ceremony featuring some of South Africa’s most popular singers will be held to mark the occasion.
Mi Casa and Mzansi Youth Choir are the highlights of this year’s show. While the trio – J’Something, Mo-T and Dr Duda will get everyone singing and dancing as they wait for the lights to be turned on, 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. This Christmas time, stars on the giant Tree of Stars on the Piazza were sold to raise money for the Smile Foundation.
The 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.
The Fantasy Garden on the Piazza will be open from 22 November to 22 December.
A Christmas Market
A Christmas market will also be held on the Square from Wednesday, 27 November to Saturday, 30 November, from 16:00 to 21:00. 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.
Extended Shopping Hours
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 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.”