Eleven Christmas trees and an array of roving performers will encourage people back onto the streets in the city, Redfern, Glebe, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Newtown, Erskineville and Kings Cross as part of the City of Sydney’s program of Christmas cheer.
“We know this year has been particularly hard on Sydneysiders, both for our residents and business owners, following nearly four months of lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone said.
“We’re delighted to invite people safely back onto the streets over the holiday period. Our extended roving entertainment program, cracking Christmas decorations and lighting displays will create the welcoming, festive atmosphere our community knows and loves.”
The 33-metre Martin Place Christmas tree will be turned on for the first time tonight and from tomorrow will light up the city from 7pm, with its 15-minute program of lights and music playing well into the night.
Other lights and decorations across the city will switch on tonight and be in place until Friday January 1.
Nine-metre trees featuring 170 hand-made baubles, 224 native floral decorations and topped with a star are located at: Dr H J Foley Rest Park in Glebe, Sydney Town Hall, Customs House, Fitzroy Gardens in Kings Cross, Taylor Square, Union Square in Pyrmont, St Mary’s Cathedral, next to Surry Hills Library and Green Ban Park in Erskineville. Green Square locals can enjoy a 12-metre tree with 290 handmade baubles and 400 native flowers in the plaza.
The choirs program will run from December 1 to 21 at the Martin Place Christmas tree and December 17 to 24 on George Street from 6pm to 8pm.
Roving entertainment will be staged at lunchtime and in the evenings from Wednesday to Sunday in the city centre and Thursday to Sunday in the villages. It will run throughout December and January.
The City of Sydney Council hopes that a new light installation on the Druitt Street side of the QVB, which features 7,000 lights spanning a 260 square metre area, will draw people back to QVB businesses, which are just some of the many across Sydney who have struggled through two years of the pandemic
Executive director of Business Sydney, Paul Nicolaou, expects the Christmas period to signal the beginning of a recovery for many businesses that have suffered through Covid-19.
“I can’t understate how devastating the two years of this pandemic have been for Sydney’s city centre, with so many businesses that just managed to hang on through 2020 struggling again, with another slow return to workplaces, and in turn hospitality and retail business,” Mr Nicolaou said.
“We really need people back in the city centre, and thankfully we are starting to see a steady increase in foot traffic, with numbers slowly picking up as people rediscover the benefits of returning to their workplaces and the wonderful city offerings of dining and shopping.
“We’re hopeful this Christmas program will help remind people how fabulous the city is and why it’s worth coming out to celebrate.”
Ms Barone said the city’s economic recovery had been considered when deciding on the Christmas program.
“We’re livening up our city with choirs belting out carols in the city centre throughout December, while roving performers will encourage people back onto the streets in the city, Redfern, Glebe, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Newtown, Erskineville and Kings Cross.
“In planning our events, we’ve factored in the latest public health orders to create Covid-safe celebrations that are most suited to the needs of a community still grappling with the devastating impacts of the pandemic,” he said.
For more information about Christmas in the City, visit https://whatson.sydney/christmas
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