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Christmas program set to be a cracker

21 November, 2014

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will today unveil Australia’s largest free Christmas program, The Wonder of Christmas.

Cr Quirk said The Wonder of Christmas would feature the return of The City’s favourite events, along with some new crowd-pleasers at South Bank, including the first-ever Christmas Markets in Stanley Street Plaza and a dive-in Christmas Cinema Series at Streets Beach.

“This year’s extensive program includes more than 200 free events and activities across The City and South Bank,” Cr Quirk said.

“This is the first year visitors will experience a consistent look and feel of Christmas from both sides of the Brisbane River.

“It is also the first year The City and South Bank will provide a complementary program of events to create a more comprehensive Christmas experience for families in the CBD.”

The festivities start with the much-loved Lighting of the Brisbane City Christmas Tree in King George Square next Friday, 28 November.

“Over the Christmas period we’re expecting hundreds of thousands to flock to The City to see the spectacular 20m tree which is dressed in 4km of colourful decorations and 16,000 twinkling lights,” Cr Quirk said.

Across the river, families will experience The Wonder of Christmas at South Bank with the first-ever South Bank Christmas Markets in Stanley Street Plaza from 12-23 December.

“These will be Christmas markets with a Brisbane twist: the cobbled streets will be transformed into a treasure trove of Christmas-themed stalls draped with garland, real Christmas trees, twinkling lights and festive live music and carollers,” Cr Quirk said.

“The whole family can also enjoy balmy Brisbane nights at the new dive-in Christmas Cinema Series at Streets Beach, with Christmas films on the silver screen each night from 17-23 December.”

South Bank will also host Community Christmas Celebrations in The Courier-Mail Piazza, so children of all ages can enjoy exclusive previews of Disney’s new Big Hero 6, and a special screening of Queensland Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and sing along to live carols concerts on December 17, 19, 20 and 21. Concerts will conclude with the exciting entertainment of Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight Live Site on Christmas Eve.

Festivities continue with the Christmas Fireworks Spectacular, a magical fireworks display best enjoyed from Clem Jones Promenade or Victoria Bridge over four nights on 17, 19, 20 and 21 December.

Brisbane’s favourite annual Christmas events will also return to The City, including the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols at Brisbane’s Riverstage on 13 December.

“Our strong relationship with the Queensland Ballet and its annual Christmas season Ben Stevenson’s magical Nutcracker continues into its second year, with the magic of ballet showcased across several events,” Cr Quirk said.

“The Myer Christmas Parade and Pantomime will run daily from 12-21 December, and feature more than 200 talented performers, giant inflatable decorations, a dancer from Queensland Ballet and, of course, Santa and his reindeer.

“Each night until Christmas Eve, the Gold Lotto City Hall Light Spectacular will see City Hall light up with magical 3D projections every 15 minutes.

“This year’s projections will see an enchanting Nutcracker story unfold as the heroine Clara saves Christmas from the Mouse Queen’s curse.”

Restaurants across The City and at South Bank’s River Quay precinct are also embracing the festive spirit with special Christmas menus throughout December.

Cr Quirk said the 2013 Christmas festivities strengthened the end-of-year trade.

“Last year our Christmas program brought more than 328,000 visitors into The City and helped generate an estimated $3.8 million dollars a day for the CBD economy,” Cr Quirk said.

“Visitors spent a total of 6.5 hours in the CBD on average, and we’re anticipating this year’s attendance to be even bigger and better.”

“Christmas shoppers will be delighted with a series of new retailers like Australia’s very first Forever 21, the new multi-storey Cotton On, high-end jeweller Paspaley and luxury international fashion icons Burberry and Bulgari.

“Visitors will be able to take advantage of Brisbane City Council’s special $5 parking offers for weeknight and weekend parking.”

Christmas in Brisbane will see The City and South Bank host more than 200 events during 27 days of festivities from 28 November to 24 December.

For more information and to experience The Wonder of Christmas, go to visitbrisbane.com.au/christmas.

[Ends] NOVEMBER 20, 2014

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