'It's going to be a merry Christmas': Sun City kick-starts festive season – TimesLIVE

Sun City resort in the North West kick-started the festive season with its annual Christmas tree lights switch-on ceremony outside Sun Central on Friday.
In angelic voices, children sang the national anthem, then counted down to the switch-on, which was followed by fireworks.
The festive lights were turned on simultaneously across the resort, much to the delight of guests who came in numbers to witness the event.
According to resort central general manager Brett Hoppé, it’s going to be a merry Christmas.
“I think it’s going to be an absolutely merry Christmas and an amazing new year.”
Hoppé said the tree lighting symbolises the start to the season.
“For a lot of our guests, we go into full-season holiday mode now with the various entertainment programmes and everything else at Sun City. We haven’t been able to do this properly and celebrate with everyone for the last two years, so to be back is amazing, the vibe is just beautiful. I think despite the political uncertainty we find ourselves in, the message to all South Africans would be to be positive.
“We wanted to celebrate with the children, I think it’s very important for our youth to have something to celebrate after we came out of Covid-19, it’s the first Christmas back and it’s just amazing to share this beautiful evening with South Africans from every walk of life, I am very excited,” he said.
A guest at the resort, 77-year-old Judy Aspeling, has witnessed the Christmas lighting about 10 times.
“For the past three years, I have been coming here. It’s good to see that nobody is wearing masks, everybody looks healthy, and it’s very good to be back to normal. I feel good being among everybody,” she said as she watched the fireworks.
Lebohang Mosidi, who has worked at the resort for 12 years but never witnessed the annual event, said she is excited everything is back to normal.
“I finally get to see this. Since Covid-19 we now see that everything is back to normal. We are happy … I think even our guests are happy, after 2020 not seeing this,” Mosidi said.
She said it symbolised a fresh start after the pandemic. 
“During Covid-19 we had nothing, everything was closed, we didn’t have this, now everything is changed. We started afresh, we are a new south Africa, we are new people. I am feeling very happy, If I could go to heaven today I would rest very well. it’s going to be a merry Christmas, it’s going to be a magic one,” she said.
Hoppé said: “I think we are going to have the most amazing season. I think people are just incredibly thankful to get out.”
“I think Covid-19 made us very grateful and reminded us of the simple things we should be thankful for. So to be able to have a celebration like this, particularly with children, because I think in the heart of lockdown, all our children were locked away. It was just tough on them, they couldn’t see their friends, didn’t really understand what was going on. So to be able to go out and dance with all South Africans and celebrate it is going to be an amazing Christmas, amazing new year and hopefully an incredibly 2023,” he said.
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