A mum who uses adventures and outings around town as an excuse to avoid the housework.
Christmas lights, markets, music & more
Lighting up the hills of Chermside this Christmas will be the annual Christmas Festival and lights display at St Gerard Majella Catholic Church. This family-friendly event welcomes the community to share in the warmth of this special time of year. Well known for its spectacular Christmas lights display, St Gerard's Christmas festival also includes food stalls, shopping, Santa photos and free entertainment. The festival runs nightly from 7pm to 10pm, beginning Friday 2nd December until Christmas Eve.
St Gerard's Christmas Festival - Christmas Lights, image by writer.
For many families the highlight of the Festival is the magnificent Christmas lights display. Down the driveway, in the gardens and on top of buildings is a dazzling display of coloured bulbs of all shapes and sizes. The St Gerard Majella lights display has been recognised for excellence in the past by being awarded winner of the best church and community group category in the 4KQ Christmas Lights Competition for a number of years.
The enormous illuminated angel that takes centre stage on the front lawn, image by writer.
There is a small range of outdoor market stalls to browse under the glow of the lights display. Here visitors can pick up a bite to eat at the barbeque, refuel with a coffee at the café, or look through what's on offer. The glow products were definitely the biggest hit with kids big and little during our visit last year.
Once your light quota has been filled outside, there's plenty going on inside the church. Each night there will be free entertainment from various talented community groups. Last year's line-up included brass bands, the Queensland Irish Association Pipe Band, and choristers. There's plenty of seating inside to accommodate visitors and kids are welcome to get up and moving.
Head inside for more shopping and entertainment, image by writer.
The St Gerard's gift shop stocks a generous range of lovely products and will be open throughout the festival. There is a significant section devoted to Christmas and nativity items which are unlike those seen in shopping centres. There are gifts designed for comfort and inspiration, some of which are the work of local artists and designers.
In keeping with the reason for the season St Gerard's has their beautiful nativity scene displayed inside the church. In the lead up to Christmas the crib is vacant, but for one special night the nativity will come alive. On Christmas Eve an outdoor Christmas Vigil Mass will be held (weather permitting) with Mary, Joseph, shepherds watching flocks, wise men with gifts, and with live animals to watch over the manger where Jesus would lay, filled with a real baby for the night.
The St Gerard's Christmas Festival might be renowned for its Christmas lights display but upon visiting you quickly realise that there is so much more. Unlike other festive lights displays you can stay here for the entire evening. The Christmas Festival is free to enter, although it would be advised to bring cash to purchase from the food and market stalls. There is free parking on the church grounds with volunteers directing traffic but street parking is also available. The main road and parking area can get congested at peak times. There is a bus stop across the road for those wishing to utilise public transport, or consider joining a Christmas Lights Tour which may include St Gerard's on the itinerary.