The Christmas season is a time for family and friends and making fond memories together especially if you only meet but a few times a year. While Sydney has its annual giant Lord Mayor's Christmas Tree outside Westin in Martin Place, and Melbourne celebrates with Christmas Square, Adelaide has transformed Bonython Park into an impressive forest of Christmas trees to welcome the merry season. I chatted with Travis Renshaw, Director of Eventwise to find out how the organisers pulled off this spectacular display.
Aptly named the "Adelaide Christmas Tree Festival" (ACTF), the objective was to provide a means to bring the local community together and for families to create happy memories among the lights, tinsel and sparkly ornaments. Open daily from 3pm between 2 December to 24 December 24 from, the ACTF will celebrate all things Christmas in Adelaide.
Travis shared with me that ACTF encourages Adelaide residents to come along and celebrate the spirit of Christmas with their friends and families. The organisers wanted to give residents and visitors the opportunity to celebrate with big trees, lights, free games and inexpensive activities, food and refreshments. It also makes for an excellent school holiday distraction for the parents and kids.
This inaugural Christmas Festival is available as a free community event with no entrance fees, thanks to the support from lots of families, businesses and communities, in addition to the efforts of the organiser, Eventwise, West End Brewery and the Adelaide City Council for supplying the site. Robbie Timms and the staff of West End Brewery have even put up a sign promoting the ACTF in the brewery display. An excellent complement to the lighting of the big Christmas Tree in Victoria Square, adults can stroll among the decorations in the park while kids run around the Xmas tree forest with glee.
Apart from folks benefiting from the fun and entertainment provided by ACTF, every tree has a nominated charity. Folks were invited in November to own an ACTF Xmas Tree. All they had to do was select the charity they wished to raise money for, complete an application form and pay the entry fee to receive their Xmas tree.
Decorations were simple to organise. In addition to the set of lights provided by the organisers, the owners just needed tinsel, hanging decorations, wrap for the bottom of the tree and a crowning item for the top. This was an excellent and affordable activity to bring everyone together for some family fun or increase workplace camaraderie while doing good for others in the community. Deserving charities would also get the much needed donations to continue their good work.
In celebration of true Christmas and community spirit, local businesses have committed to decorating and maintaining the trees for the duration of the festival. Visitors can now donate to the tree they like the most or charity they feel most connected to by buying a $1 ticket. Kudos to Travis and his team for coming up with such a simple and multi-beneficial idea that embraces the true spirit of Xmas with love, family and the gift of giving within the community.
ACTF is designed to be a source of great family entertainment at low prices. There are Xmas carols, free games for the family to play and rides and amusement are also provided. A children's activities tent provides a 30 minute craft session for only $5.
There is a selection of food available including donuts, hot chips, ice blocks and gelato starting at as low as $1. There is also a full drinks and refreshments menu including fruit juice, coffee, soft drinks and a fully licensed bar for parents.
The sounds, lights and activities of ACTF provide an ideal backdrop for any office or family Xmas party. Whether it's cocktails or dinners, the organisers and H.S. Hospitality have flexible menu options including finger foods, salads and barbeque items for dining with the glittering trees.
A variety of skill-based games including ring tosses, flip cups, chase quarters and 4 cup pongs are provided by World Pub Sports to encourage fun, laughter and bit of friendly competition. Drinks are also kept affordable at no more than $8 over the bar and reduced prices are available for group bookings. Due to the limited function timings each day, bookings can be made by contacting Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org
The ACTF is set to become an annual feature of Xmas Celebrations in Adelaide. With your support, the organisers hope to engage more businesses, groups and families and fill the park with 100 Christmas Trees. As a part of the ACTF, Adelaide City Council and U-Park will provide car parking in Bonython Park every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This gesture will allow visitors to park easily and travel safely through the trees instead of under Port Rd to the brewery lights.
With so much happening for parents and kids including free entertainment, activities and affordable catering and refreshments, the Adelaide Christmas Tree Festival is the place to be for a great night out.