The 'Burstow's Christmas Wonderland' was first initiated as far back as 2003, with the Burstow family hoping to create a dream event that the whole community could visit and experience the joys and wonders of Christmas. The dream was to create a delightful display of lights and provide supper with free giveaways for the children.
The Burstows tentatively took the first steps and wondered if anyone would arrive. But arrive the visitors did, in droves, all eager to open their hearts and pockets and to give 'something back'. This was how the 'gold coin donation' on entry started. The Burstow's Christmas Wonderland was never intended to create fundraising, but this has now grown to be a major part of the event. The 2016 Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland attracted more than 90,000 visitors, raising $96,000 for major charities and over $5,000 was donated to community-based organisations.
In 2007 this wonderful Christmas event was renamed Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland and has since grown to be one of Queensland's biggest light extravaganzas - a true family tradition at Christmas time. One hears locals all over Toowoomba calling 'see you at the lights' - an affirmation that the Burstow's greatest dream was realised - that a real sense of community has been forged with this very special tradition.
In the lead up to Christmas, for twenty-two nights, the heritage-listed botanic gardens at Queens Park in Toowoomba comes alive with a Christmas light extravaganza. There will be face painting, tea and coffee stations and balloon animals - all activities will have donation tins. Each night a BBQ will be run to ensure tummies don't go hungry and children will receive FREE ice creams. A stage in the Botanical Gardens will showcase nightly entertainment; plus, keep a lookout for the roving entertainers and dance groups.