A family-friendly line-up of free festive activities will spread Christmas cheer across the city throughout December, encouraging Novocastrians into the City Centre whilst supporting local businesses.
To herald the start of the festive season, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes officially lit the City’s signature 11-metre Christmas tree, taking pride of place on Market Street Lawn, adjacent to the Signal Box café.
Funded by City of Newcastle’s Special Business Rate program, in collaboration with local businesses, A Very Newy Christmas presents a sleigh-full of free festive activities for families to enjoy.
One hundred and twenty full-sized Christmas trees will form a pop-up maze at Civic Park from Thursday 3 December until Friday 12 December. Entry is free for the whole family between the hours of 7am and 7pm.
Hunter Street Mall and Darby Street will host free beach themed Santa photo sessions. Families are encouraged to make their way to 153 Darby Street from 10 -15 December and 145 Hunter Street from 17 - 22 December, between the hours of 9am and 5pm weekdays, and 9am and 1pm Saturdays.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Christmas is about welcoming the community to the City Centre to enjoy the festive spirit and free activities on offer, whilst supporting local businesses.
“Without a doubt, 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Our City’s Christmas tree and A Very Newy Christmas programming is about spreading the joy of Christmas amongst families, whilst welcoming visitors back into the City Centre,” said Cr Nelmes.
“COVID-19 has caused major disruption to our City’s events calendar in 2020, with unprecedented economic and social impacts on our community and businesses.
“By activating the City Centre and Darby Street, our goal is to attract people back in a COVID Safe way and to financially inject into local businesses, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors.
“There is no better time than the lead-up to Christmas to shop locally and support Newcastle businesses impacted by COVID-19.
“Come and join in the spirit of Christmas by heading into our City Centre this festive season.”
For the City’s full Christmas programme visit newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Christmas