Quirindi was a Christmas haven over the weekend, with Christmas in Quirindi on Saturday and Christmas Carols by Candlelight on Sunday.
Christmas in Quirindi was hosted by the Liverpool Plains Business Chamber and saw a block of George Street closed for six hours of fun.
Stall holders boasted crafts, baby clothes and woodwork, and Harvest Christian Centre set-up a kids station with games, a jumping castle and face painting. Quirindi Rotary Club had a chocolate wheel, while Quirindi Lions Club cooked up a storm, running out of food by lunchtime.
The event was organised by the chamber’s Ray Lamb and Tammie Clark who said the fair from Quirindi’s calendar had been absent since 2011.
Ms Clark said about 450 people attended and the chamber was “very happy” with the turn-out.
“We ended up doing it on a different day, we usually do it on a Thursday evening,” she said.
“We had some draw cards that helped us like the [Rotary] chocolate wheel.”
Entertainment was spread throughout the day and included performances by Harvest Christian Centre’s Impact Youth and Quirindi High School’s band.
“We were excited this year to have kids involved in entertainment,” Ms Clark said.
“Getting kids involved, gets the community involved.”
This year, local crafts and quilts were on display, with $230 raised.
“The money will be going towards the needlework section in the [Quirindi] show. We already are giving that money back,” Ms Clark said.
Ms Clark was excited to see a full-size nativity scene set-up in a shop front in George Street. She purchased the scene for the community so “everyone can enjoy it and see what Christmas is really about”.
“[The fair] was all about trying to build the spirit in Quirindi,” she said.
“With all the other events in Quirindi, it was great to see other people on the same wave length about bringing the spirit of Christmas to Quirindi.
“What makes us unique is what we are limited down our street with retail shopping so we have to be more creative with what we have done the main street.
“As long as I’m involved, I will always try to promote having Christmas in Quirindi down the main street so everyone benefits.”
Ms Clark said when she was passionate about organising family-friendly events and when she’s planning, she does it “through the eyes of a child”.
The coordinator said the chamber would have a meeting on Thursday to discuss plans for next year.
“I’m hoping that we will be able to announce a claim the date for next year,” she said.
“We might look at doing it as a twilight event because people said they’d like to see the lights.”
Ms Clark said the chamber recently received $5000 from Monsanto through the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant.
The weekend rounded off with Christmas Carols by Candlelight at Quirindi Rural Heritage Village.
The annual event was hosted by Quirindi Ministers Fraternal and saw more than 250 people gather on Sunday evening.
Molly Arnold and Haley Munroe from Quirindi Public School performed, as did local musicians and Harvest Christian Centre Impact Youth.
Scripture Union’s Dave Tankard travelled from Tamworth to feature as the guest speaker.
“I think everyone was really happy with it and thought it was probably the best one we’ve had yet,” fraternal member Phyl Nichols said.
“We were glad to see so many families there enjoying the Christmas season and the lovely night in each other’s company.”