A little piece of the North Pole will pop up in the Tenterfield Theatre before Christmas, as Rotary hosts its first Christmas Tree Festival. No promises of snow, but it will be air-conditioned.
The success of the festival requires local businesses, groups and individuals to contribute a decorated Christmas tree, and it can be traditional, handmade, wacky or whatever.
These will go on to be judged, but the ultimate aim of the exercise is to generate some Christmas cheer at the end of a challenging year, which included the cancellation of the much-loved Christmas Carnival co-hosted by the Rotary and Lions clubs.
Organiser Shauna Bolton would love to see as many trees as possible, aiming to have at least 50 to create a festive atmosphere.
There will a prize for each category, which includes:
- 4 years and under,
- 5-12 years,
- most innovative,
- best use of recycled materials, and
- business/community organisation.
There will also be a People's Choice award. Festival goers can purchase their voting ticket for $1 and place it with the tree of their choice, but it also gives them an entry into a Christmas Hamper drawn before the close of the festival. All proceeds will be donated to charity.
Mrs Bolton first came across the Christmas Tree Festival idea in Yeppoon while visiting grandchildren and thought it a wonderful idea. With the cancellation of the Christmas Carnival it seemed timely to introduce the concept here, hopefully to become an annual attraction.
"We can build on it, and have it benefit both the town and Rotary," she said.
Rotary volunteers will be roped in to decorate the theatre in fitting style, to accommodate what will hopefully be a deluge of entries. It costs $10 to enter and trees can be set up in the theatre on Tuesday, December 8. Please let Karen Tapscott at Tenterfield Insurance know you are participating, so organisers can gauge how many to cater for.
Public viewing over the following three days costs $3 for adults, with accompanied children enjoying free entry.