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Weather forces carols date change

December 21, 2023 3:34 pm in by
Carols by Candlelight will be on a night earlier due to weather. (Image: carolsbycandlelightgeelong.org.au)

The chance of some rain and thunderstorms have forced organisers of Geelong’s Carols by Candlelight to bring the event a night forward, moving from the traditional Christmas Eve slot.

The Y Geelong announcing the event at Johnstone Park will now kick off at 8pm on Saturday December 23, following the forecast of rain late on Christmas Eve.

It will be the 60th anniversary of the traditional Christmas event, Creative Director Gayle Burrill said she hopes the change of date could work in people’s favour.

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“Christmas Eve is such a wonderful night of the year, but it’s also very busy,” Ms Burrill said.

“Particularly if you’ve got young families you want to get them home nice and early and this way they will actually be home on Christmas Eve.

“We might get some more families out there who wouldn’t normally come, so I think it may actually work in our favour being a Saturday night instead of a Sunday.

Ms Burrill said she expects to see up to 5-thousand people to flock to Johnstone Park despite the change of date.

“It’s been (on) Christmas Eve for the last 60 years, I don’t think we’ve really even missed a Christmas Eve.

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“We have done it in the rain before, but it looks like thunderstorms and rain this year, which doesn’t sound fantastic so hopefully the Saturday will work much better for us.”

Organisers still expect a star-studded lineup despite awaiting confirmation from a few acts to be available for the change of date.

Geelong-raised Tim McCallum will be making his 15th appearance at Geelong Carols, while duet Sam Cocking and Angie Hilton are locked in.

Attendees can also still expect a performance from the Footlight Productions cast of Strictly Ballroom and 13-year-old sensation Xaidy Salajan from Geelong College.

“I think people are going to be quite amazed at (Xaidy’s) talent,” Ms Burill said.

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“We need some new fresh talent coming through and she’s going to be a fun one to watch.”

Ms Burill also assured concert-goers a visit from Santa is still on the cards, despite the jolly man’s busy schedule.

“He’s very happy to come the night before to see Geelong people,” she said.

Carols by Candlelight is a free event with pets allowed, while facilities including toilets and food vans will be available.

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