There’s nothing that says Christmas quite like Carols in the Park.
It’s the iconic young-and-old event of the year. You can throw off your inhibitions and sing at the top of your voice, or you can chill out and just watch the unfolding magic of Christmas.
Children are bursting with energy, chasing each other through the camp chairs. Older kids are jabbing at their phones. The really older ones are sitting back with a contented smile, drinking in the sights and sounds of Christmas.
On one side, the Tamworth Brass Band are pumping out the old favourites. The Salvos and the Lions Club have the food cranked up. The smell of onions cooking mingles with the Aerogard to say “This is Christmas”.
Far away, an unmistakable drone heralds the arrival of the highland band marching over the hill to the beat of Little Drummer Boy.
The program starts at 7:30pm. There’s all the old favourites with a couple of new ones as well. Colin Buchanan lends his Aussie humour with words like: “Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut… Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden ute.”
Or: “Deck the shed with bits of wattle. Fa la la la la la la la la. Whack some gum leaves in a bottle. All the shops are open Sundies… Buy your dad some socks and undies.”
Janette Morris is back with her energetic kids bracket. Guest artists from the Sandy Clark Vocal Studios, Carinya quartet and a Korean choir bring a moving contribution.
The community singing will be led by a Combined Churches Choir which has been specially brought together for the event, accompanied by the Tamworth Regional Conservatorium Combined Orchestra.
There’s something special about singing through the sunset. As day turns to night, the park takes on a different feel as the glow sticks and candles come out. Kids snuggle up to mum and everybody’s face takes on a dreamy hue. There’s a feeling that we’re all here together and it’s somehow wonderful.
Christmas is also about giving, and there will be a bucket brigade in support of Angel Flight, an Australian charity which co-ordinates non-emergency flights for financially and medically needy people. It receives no government funding, but relies solely on the generous support of community-minded people and organisations. Angel Flight services the Tamworth region (with over 20 flights in the past 12 months), and some of our local residents give their time as volunteer pilots.
Speaking of giving, a free event like this couldn’t happen without the generous support of Calrossy, Woodleys, Pulse Kitchens, St Peter’s Preschool, Northern Daily Leader, Northern Inland Credit Union, BBQ’s Galore and Tamworth Regional Council.
So the place to be is Bicentennial Park, Saturday December 16th from 6.30pm. BYO chairs or picnic rug and don’t forget it’s an alcohol-free zone.