Brisbane residents and visitors alike are set for a cracker of a ‘Brismas’ after Lord Mayor Graham Quirk launched the city’s massive festive program on Thursday 8 November.
The city’s Christmas in Brisbane program will provide free activities and entertainment throughout December across the inner-city, helping to stimulate the retail economy by attracting visitors from the wider region. Cr Quirk said new additions to the 2018 program included a new animation for the Gold Lotto City Hall Lights, a larger Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland and more activities for children at South Bank. “Due to the incredible popularity of Roma Street Parkland’s Enchanted Garden in 2016 and 2017, this year’s installation will be even bigger than before, staying open for longer and operating for an additional three nights,” Cr Quirk said. “In King George Square, the popular Gold Lotto City Hall Lights will return and deliver a rapturous light-projection on City Hall from 7 to 24 December. This year’s new story is titled Maddi’s White Christmas, featuring a terrific tale by local author Melanie Hill that travels all the way from Brisbane to the North Pole. It’s the perfect story-time end to a night in town Christmas shopping or having dinner with family and friends at one of the City’s many world-class restaurants.”
Cr Quirk said the Christmas season would start with the Lighting of the Christmas Tree, presented by St George Bank in King George Square on Friday 30 November. “The 22-metre tall tree will be decorated with thousands of glittering fairy lights and a huge colourful star – operating completely on clean, green solar power,” he said. “Seasonal favourites such as the Christmas Parade presented by David Jones, the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols and the gift markets at South Bank will also return. This year’s Christmas Parade will feature exciting new characters and floats, hundreds of singing and dancing performers and of course the star of the show – Santa Claus. The parade will march its merry way down the Queen Street Mall and Albert Street, right into the city’s festive heart in King George Square, nightly from Friday 14 until Sunday 23 December. South Bank will once again be a fantastic festive hub every evening in the final week before Christmas, with an extensive program of activities and entertainment supported by eatSouthBank. Festivities will include a gift market, nightly carol performances and free movies at River Quay, a chance to visit Santa, kids’ activities, live music and four nights of fireworks, set to a soundtrack of your favourite Christmas carols.
“The popular Holly Jolly Kids will run workshops every afternoon and evening from 14-23 December, including a brand new Elf Training Academy of circus skills workshops and ballet classes for children, hosted by Queensland Ballet. Another favourite annual tradition, the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols at the Riverstage, will see more than 500 of Brisbane’s best performers light up the stage with your favourite carols and more on Saturday 8 December.”
Cr Quirk said this year’s program would build on the success of Christmas 2017, which attracted more than 750,000 visitors to events staged across the CBD, South Bank and Roma Street Parkland. “The entire program is free and bookings are not required, so we encourage you to venture in as many times as you like and experience all of the fantastic Christmas entertainment on offer,” he said. “A growing program of ticketed events is also adding to our Christmas traditions, with QPAC welcoming a Christmas classic to its Playhouse – A Christmas Carol – which joins festive favourites, Queensland Ballet’s The Nutcracker, A Very Kransky Christmas and the much-loved QPAC Spirit of Christmas.
“For the first time, the Lights of Christmas at St Stephen’s Cathedral will celebrate the joy of the festive season with a magnificent new show from the creators of VIVID festival from 12-24 December.”