After a long wait, the highly anticipated Christmas in July returns to Queanbeyan Showground on Saturday 9th July with all the delights of a cosy, wintry gathering. But what should you expect to find at the mid-year celebration of Christmas?
“After three long years, Christmas in July is finally back. We’ve had more than 10,000 visitors come join in on the fun in the time the event has ran and it has continued to grow year after year, so we are very excited to be able to bring the event back to Queanbeyan,” QPRC’s Community Events Officer Mel Aitchison explains. “There will be so many experiences on offer at this year’s event – from competitions to market stalls and even two circus groups who will be entertaining the crowds throughout the day,” she continues.
The highlight of this year’s event will be the brand new Caroloke Competition, which will not only see choirs and dance groups from the QPRC and ACT region take the stage, but is also an opportunity for all of the community to get up on stage to belt out their favourite Christmas carol, whether that’s solo, duet or in a group. The judges’ favourite performances will be awarded with prizes from local businesses, so make sure to sign up for your spot on the stage.
“The Caroloke Competition will definitely be the highlight of the day. Entries are still coming in and we’re looking forward to receiving more entries right up to Friday, July 8th, no matter whether you want to perform solo or in a group,” Mel says. “We will also have some local acts taking the stage to get everyone in the Christmas spirit with some carols for everyone to sing along to. The Queanbeyan Community Choir will be churning out everyone’s favourite Christmas Carols and our local dance school, Bom Funk, will be dancing up a storm on the main stage as well.”
And the fun doesn’t end there – those with a flair for baking and decorating get to battle it out for the titles of Best Decorated Christmas Cake and Best Decorated Gingerbread House in the Christmas Decorating Challenge. Other on-site competitions include tossing the elf on the shelf, candy cane relay, Christmas present wrapping and more.
The event will officially kick off at 10am with entertainment on the main stage starting soon after as Santa Claus himself arrives. Make sure you have your best Christmas outfit on as this is your opportunity to strike a pose with Santa in a ‘magnetic shot’ to take home and keep.
In addition to meeting the big man himself, the event also promises plenty of action for the little ones with a dedicated play area for the kids and kids at heart. “We’ll have everything from an outdoor obstacle course and jumping castle to rides and other exciting activities including a juggling workshop with circus elves,” Mel explains.
Not to be upstaged by all the entertainment on offer, the event will also offer up an impressive range of over 100 unique market stalls brimming with belly-filling foods and handmade treasures.
“We are really excited about our stallholders this year. We’ll have everything from Christmas themed gifts and sweets to handmade candles, homewares, jewellery, clothes, toys, knitwear, pottery, plants… the list goes on! Not to mention all the food that will be on offer,” Mel says.
Pets are also welcome to the family-friendly event with a dedicated pet rest stop with seating and water available.
Parking will be available on-site for 300+ cars with allocated disability parking inside the Glebe Avenue entry at the closest possible point to the event. For those with mobility concerns or sensory issues, the event staff recommends signing up for the early access sensory hour at 9am – 10am.
“The sensory hour is dedicated to those with mobility concerns or sensory issues or anyone who is uncomfortable around large crowds. During this time, we will do our best to minimise the number of people on site, limit noise and offer parking close to the event, so everyone has a chance to enjoy the event,” Mel explains.
While tickets for the event are free of charge, the staff encourages everyone to pre-register their attendance – by doing so, you might even go home with a little something special!