Christmas elves Nina Sands, Ivie Hertel and Zoe White were busy in Castlereagh Street Coonamble on Saturday 14 December
THE REVAMPED Christmas Street Party hosted this year by Coonamble Shire Council at the request of the Streets Ahead Committee drew a huge crowd to Castlereagh Street on Saturday 14 December.
With live music from the boys of the Castlereagh Connection, dancing from Coonamble Public School’s Indigenous Dancers and carols pumped from speakers on the Sons of the Soil Hotel verandah, the atmosphere was lively as shoppers and spectators strolled among the 25 mainly-local stalls and into open shops.
Some stallholders ‘popped-up’ inside empty shops but the weather was on-side with a coolish breeze keeping temperatures down for most of the event, although shade was at a premium by the time the event wound up at 12.30pm.
“The weather was on our side and the place was buzzing with the number of activities and the on-stage program,” said one Council staffer.
From keyrings to live birds, from candles to pot plants, stallholders reported that they were well-supported although feedback received was that more food stalls were needed.
Council staff and other volunteers delivered plenty of Christmas cheer with free face-painting, balloons, fruit and kids craft as well as gift-wrapping by Coonamble Quote Club members in return for a gold coin donation.
Santa’s workshop under the awning of the former Mac’s Dry Cleaners building was street party central, providing a one-stop-shop for information throughout the day. Santa’s elves, Nina, Zoe and Ivie wandered the street handing out candy canes and helping anyone who had a question.
This year’s event was even more family-friendly than ever, with plenty of activities for children to participate in.
Generous prizes for various competitions saw an encouraging number of entries on the day.
Youngsters were kept busy with a scavenger hunt, with prizes including an X-Box, GoPro and a Bluetooth Speaker.
The Best Dressed Santa winners took home bicycles and GoPros.
The bicycle and scooter competition winners won a bike or scooter of their choosing, with prizes donated by Cant Bros Home Hardware and Coonamble Shire Council.
The first Christmas Tree Competition for many years attracted some amazing entries and was a real highlight of the day.
The Coonamble District Chamber of Commerce Buy Local draw remained a star attraction with the large crowd patiently waiting while Chamber officials checked and double-checked entries drawn from the barrel of Paul Wheelhouse’s cement truck before announcing the winners.
Master of Ceremonies David Taylor managed the crowd, including a visit from Santa in his red EH Holden.
Coonamble Shire Council will survey residents and Coonamble Chamber of Commerce will survey businesses to determine whether the new Saturday morning format trialled this year will be repeated in 2020.