City of Newcastle makes tree-mendous start to festive season
28 Nov 2023
Santa Claus and his elves made a flying visit to Newcastle last night to help Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes light up the city's biggest Christmas tree in Wheeler Place.
The annual tradition of flicking the switch begins a month of festive fun in the city centre.
Wheeler Place will host family-friendly activities around the towering 12.5m-tall Christmas tree between 5pm and 7pm on December 1, 2, 8 and 9, where everyone and their dog can also snap a selfie or a 'puppy pawtrait' with Saint Nick, supported by special community Christmas entertainment.
Cr Nelmes said Santa agrees it's the perfect time of year to visit the city and your local shops.
"City of Newcastle (CN) provides a range of activities in the lead-up to Christmas that offer families the ideal opportunity to come to the city centre, shop locally for their presents and support our hospitality and retail outlets,” Cr Nelmes said.
"If you miss the chance to see Santa in Wheeler Place, City of Newcastle is providing a free DIY photo opportunity at 161a Hunter Street, seven days a week, from December 11 right up to Christmas eve. Bring your family, friends and pets for this free DIY photo."
Adding extra incentive to visit the inner city, the Newcastle Business Improvement Association created a Festive Shopping Extravaganza, giving Novocastrians a chance to share in $7,500 worth of vouchers to local boutiques, cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs, entertainment venues or hair and beauty businesses.
CN's cultural venues will be home to holiday season productions including Messiah in the City on December 10 at City Hall, The Nutcracker on December 19 at the Civic Theatre and One Song Sing | How to Make Gravy in Wheeler Place on December 21, where more than 1,200 people are expected to meet, rehearse and sing Paul Kelly's iconic song in just one hour.
Local libraries will hear those sleigh bells ringing when Santa makes a guest appearance at the Christmas Story Stomp on December 5 at Newcastle Library and December 7 at Wallsend.
Timberlina will present Christmas Rainbow Storytime at Newcastle Library on December 9 and Saint Nick will also make a stop at Newcastle Museum on December 6 at 11am as part of Christmas Story Explorers.
Wallsend will be busier than Santa's workshop with the iconic rotunda on the corner of Nelson, Tyrrell and Harris Streets hosting the Rock’n Elfy’s Christmas Show from 11am on December 9, 16 and 23, featuring singing, dancing and prizes galore.
The rotunda will also play host to Christmas carols every night from 6pm between December 20 and December 23, as well as the Conscious Christmas Markets on December 9.
Mr and Mrs Claus will spend plenty of time in the Hamilton business precinct on December 15, inviting locals and business owners to take a free picture with the hard-working, happy couple.
For more information about City of Newcastle's Christmas activities visit https://whatson.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/