Avenel was sparkling for Santa’s visit

By David Rak

Avenel was lit up for the first twilight market and Christmas tree-lighting festivities.

More than 800 people wandered through the tranquil setting of Jubilee Park in the centre of Avenel supporting the creative market artisans.

Children from the local primary school set the scene singing Christmas carols and were accompanied by Nagambie singer and songwriter Russell Turner and local music teacher Fleur Smith.

There were more than 30 stalls, with mostly handcrafted items and food vendors selling specialist foods along with a barbecue cooked by parents of the Seymour Scouts.

Santa was swamped with special requests, and a giant sparkling Christmas tree welcomed people to the park, while the tennis courts were filled with juniors wielding rackets.

Highlight of the evening was the turning on of collective lights on a cyprus tree facing Livingstone St, which will stay on until Christmas, along with lights in the trees in the park.

A fun feature was novelty lights hung in wine bottles to create a certain atmosphere around the tennis court and park.

The large cedar trees in Jubilee Park were yarn-bombed in red and green fabric, in keeping with the Christmas theme, and a laser light display capped off a fun evening.

Avenel Market manager Ella Bradshaw said there was a sensational buzz that came with all the activities that had been included in the night.

She said it was thanks to the Inland Rail Community Sponsorship and Donations program that the evening was as elaborate as it was, and people said they were keen to repeat the event next year.

The program was represented by ARTC engagement adviser Hamish Pink who said Inland Rail was proud to support community group events and activities that boost local regional prosperity and wellbeing.