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Mayor's Message (5 December 2019)

5 December 2019

Over the next few weeks, Ballarat will light up with the spirit and colour of Christmas. 

Council’s Parks and Gardens team have been busy at work, bringing Ballarat’s streets to life with floral and topiary Christmas decorations. If you have driven or walked down Sturt Street this week, you may have seen the return of crowd favourite, Rudolph and Santa’s floral reindeers. The reindeers, who celebrate their 10th birthday this year, are a great family attraction. 

One of the other great family highlights is a gigantic gingerbread house, which this year is located next to Parent Place on Albert Street. The house has been created by local artists Zlatko Balazic and Margie Balazic and is layered with treats and interactive features. It is the perfect half-way retreat for parents and families who delight in visiting the Christmas displays and events along Sturt Street. 

This year as part of our Christmas activities, you can also follow the 12 days of Christmas Windows Art Trail, which is a collection of temporary artworks inspired by the popular Christmas carol. 

With more than 200 events taking place across Ballarat this Christmas, we are delighted that so many local businesses and event organisers are embracing the festive cheer. You can plan your Christmas adventure using our new online advent calendar. Just visit www.christmasinballarat.com.au, and share your festive experience on Instagram with the hashtag #christmasinballarat 

To make your Christmas journey that little bit more special, we are offering free parking in Ballarat CBD from December 1 to January 31. It’s our Christmas gift to you. Make sure you read the signs, as time restrictions still apply. This is a great opportunity for everyone to come into the city, shop and support local businesses, and celebrate the spirit of the season with your family, friends and community. 

On the weekend, our city was buzzing with activity with Fringe Benefits and Spilt Milk music festival. Many restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and accommodation venues were busy throughout the weekend providing a huge economic injection for the city.  

The festival organisers of Spilt Milk, emergency providers and our business partners did a remarkable job for making the festival a safe, fun and enjoyable experience for all. 

Victoria Park also proved to be a fantastic venue with lots of space for different stages, food outlets, arts and entertainment.