As magazine Christmas parties go, it’s a cracker.

Nelson-based regional magazine WildTomato has a relatively modest circulation of 5000 --  but it’s annual festive bash is a huge affair with around 1000 guests.  

“It’s the highlight of the party season down here,” says editor Lynda Papesch, who gets bailed up when she is out at work events, by people asking where their party invite is.

The party has be a regular event for around 10 years, and for the last three the venue has been Nelson’s grand historic home, Fairfield House.  This year’s party starts at 5.30pm on Nov 22, and will have plenty of good Marlborough wine, craft beer and canapes, and nothing much in the way of formalities or speeches. But Papesch reckons its the eclectic guest list that’s the magic ingredient.

“WildTomato’s brand is funky, slightly off-beat and intellectual. This is not your normal, staid Christmas party.”

Invites go out to clients, community groups and volunteers, writers and photographers.  “They’re the people that people want to meet,”  says Papesch. “There’s a lot of contact-making, networking and idea swapping at the party.”

She says the event reminds everyone what a wide reach WildTomato has “and just how far our vine has meandered” in the community.

The WildTomato team (pictured at top): from left, Lynda Papesch (editor), Laura Loghry (manager), Chrissie Sanders (advertising executive), Kaleigh Armitage (advertising executive), Hester Janssen (design and art direction), Jo Hender (advertising executive). Photo by Brent McGilvary.    

Other photos from the 2018 event, by Karaena Vincent