From left, Sean Hodges, Dana Simonsen and Stephen Gregory promote Canberra's 12-day Christmas Carnival. Photo: Karleen Minney
If you're trying to find Ebenezer Scrooge Canberra is not the place to be looking this Christmas.
Now, it seems, really is the time for giving with local retailers forking out more than $8000 a day for an event - Christmas Carnival - that will remain free to the public.
Canberra CBD Ltd will give Civic Square, City Walk and Garema Place a facelift in the hopes of bringing more Canberrans into the city in the lead up to Santa's big arrival.
''It's a family opportunity to listen to some carols and really get into that Christmas spirit,'' Canberra CBD CEO Stephen Gregory said at the launch on Monday.
Four camels at a total cost of $22,000, bungee trampolines, rock climbing and water balls, and even Canberra's very own town crier Alan Moyse, will all be present throughout the 12 days of the $100,000 event.
Canberra CBD's chairman Manny Notaras, however, believed the carnival had a stronger message to promote.
''There's an educational element to this; kids will be told, with their parents close by, how to undertake water sports and the use of water safely,'' he said.
Royal Life Saving ACT executive officer Sean Hodges said with water being the main attraction, Royal Life Saving Australia ACT will be on hand to offer assistance.
''Over the last 10 years we've had five children under the age of 5 drown in the ACT, the majority of those kids being in backyard swimming pools,'' Mr Hodges said.
Mr Hodges said the use of water at the carnival will be a great link for water safety awareness.
''At a time when more and more people are going to be using their backyard pools [we want] to get that message out about making sure people are using their fences, making sure everything is working, and doing safety checks.''
Starting Monday December 10, the event runs until Friday December 21, 12-8pm.
For more information go to official website at: www.inthecitycanberra.com.au