Thousands of people in Greymouth still mourning the loss of the 29 Pike River coal mine workers put their grief aside to celebrate the festive season on Saturday.
A Santa parade and Christmas in the Park events were held.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn says after two weeks of hell it was nice for locals to have something to celebrate.
He says it was good to see some smiles returning to faces.
Also on Saturday, the first of the individual memorials was held, for miner Michael Monk.