BRIDGE ST CHRISTMAS: From left is Nathan Moore from Vodafone, Yvon Smits and Allison Daughtrey from Jewel Beetle, Amir Rahsepar and Steffi Schrickel from Pizzeria Bella, Simon Duffy from Uniquely Nelson and Aria, Cora, Simon and Azriel Moore. Photo: Kate Russell.

Bridge St bands together for Christmas

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If you’ve noticed Bridge St looking a bit more Christmassy than usual, you’d be right.

A total of 31 businesses on the inner-city street have come together to give Nelson shoppers the ultimate festive experience, all while helping a local charity.

Pocket Park has been adorned with a Christmas tree, ‘elfie-selfie’ board and gift drop box to support local charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Shops are using lights to project snowflakes on the footpath and 22 of the businesses are running an ‘elf on the shelf’ selfie competition for shoppers.

Yvon Smits from Bridge St business Jewel Beetle initiated the idea in September after being inspired by a trip to Holland.

From there, meetings were organised, resources were pulled, and the idea came to life.

“The group just grew bigger and bigger,” says Yvon. “There are some cool businesses here in Nelson – it’s not just all about the big box stores.”

Simon and Cora Moore, who are soon to open a new café on Bridge St, are the creators of the pocket park gift drop box and say the idea was to get children to think more about giving to others.

“The whole display been really popular, there have been lots of people stopping to take selfies and commenting that it’s good to see a real tree.”

He says it’s exciting to be part of a “grass roots” organisation aimed at reinvigorating that end of town.

“The whole process is changing the experience on Bridge St.”

Nathan Moore from Vodafone, which is also locally owned and operated, says next year they hope to make it “twice as big” and incorporate a Santa’s grotto.

“We thought we’d start small and do it really well. The nice thing that’s come from this is now we know everyone.”

To find out more, visit the Facebook page – ‘Experience Bridge Street’.