The Canberra Times

Queanbeyan Christmas in July returnsAdvertising Feature

After a two-year break, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) have announced that the highly anticipated Christmas in July returns to Queanbeyan Showground on Saturday July 9 with all the delights of a cosy, wintry gathering.

But the question you may ask yourself is, what should you expect to find at the mid-year celebration of Christmas?

"The QPRC Events team are excited to be able to host this year's event again with a few new additions of an entertainment stage and our competitions, [plus] other fun activities to participate in on the day with the old favourites of our craft, arts, produce and food stalls," a spokesperson said.

The highlight of this year's event will be the brand new Caroloke Competition, which will not only see choirs and dance groups from the QPRC and ACT region take the stage, but it is also an opportunity for everyone else to get up on the stage to belt out their favourite Christmas carol, whether that's solo, duet or in a group.

The judges' favourite performances will be awarded prizes from local businesses, so make sure to sign up for your spot on the stage.

The fun doesn't end there though.

Those with a flair for baking and decorating get to battle it out for the titles of Best Decorated Christmas Cake and Best Decorated Gingerbread House in the Christmas Decorating Challenge.

Other on-site competitions will include tossing the elf on the shelf, decorating a Christmas tree, and wrapping a present in record time.

The event will officially kick off at 10am with entertainment on the main stage starting soon after as Santa Claus himself arrives.

So, you should make sure that you have your best Christmas outfit on because this is your opportunity to strike a pose with Santa in a photo to take home and keep.

In addition to meeting the big man himself, the event also promises plenty of action for the little ones with a dedicated play area for the kids, and kids at heart.

"We'll have everything from an outdoor obstacle course and jumping castle to rides and other exciting activities including a juggling workshop with circus elves and Queanbeyan Show Society's interactive space with furry little friends," said QPRC senior event organiser Mel Aitchison.

Head to Queanbeyan Showground on Saturday July 9 for all the fun and activities of Christmas in July. Sharyn from sharwoodhampers.com.au has not missed a Christmas in July market yet. Visit Sharyn to purchase many of the local regional source hampers on sale. Photo: Supplied

Not to be upstaged by all the entertainment on offer, the event will also offer up an impressive range of over 100 unique market stalls brimming with belly-filling foods and handmade treasures.

"We are excited about our stallholders this year. We'll have everything from Hampers, pottery, handmade cards, jewellery, children's toys and local produce."

Pets are also welcome to the family-friendly event with a dedicated pet rest stop with seating and water available.

Parking will be available on-site for over 300 cars, with allocated parking for those with a disability parking permit inside the Glebe Avenue entry at the closest possible point to the event.

Additionally, for those with mobility concerns or sensory issues, the event staff recommends signing up for the early access sensory hour from 9am to 10am.

"The sensory hour is dedicated to those with mobility concerns or sensory issues or anyone uncomfortable around large crowds.

"During this time, we will do our best to minimise the number of people on-site, limit noise and offer parking close to the event, so everyone has a chance to enjoy the event," Mel said.

While tickets for the event are free of charge, the staff encourages everyone to pre-register their attendance, and by doing so, "you might even go home with a little something special," the QPRC Events team suggested.

If you're keen to get in on the action, you can pre-register for the event, as well as the Caroloke Competition and the Christmas Decorating Challenge, by visiting treasuretrail.com.au/xmasjuly.