Christmas in Armidale this year just got a whole lot merrier, and taller!
On Thursday morning, November 30, Armidale Mayor Sam Coupland unveiled what he said might possibly be the 'Biggest Christmas tree in the Southern Hemisphere".
"We had some negative feedback from the community with the previous tree, so this year we decided to go all out," Said Mr Coupland.
"I was at Martin Place last week and I think that our tree is as big as the one in Sydney."
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Mr Coupland said council has listened to community feedback and have made an effort to scale up Christmas in the mall for 2023.
"People were embarrassed by what we had in the past, this one will last us for twenty years."
To get an idea of the amazing contrast between Armidale's new tree and the previous one, you can watch vision or Mayor Coupland switching on the lights of 2022's Christmas tree here.
The Centrepiece Christmas tree of this year's Christmas in the mall is 15 metres high and six metres wide.
Lighting up the tree are more than 1000 lights, accompanied by hundreds of decorations.
"Our Christmas festival is huge," said Mr Coupland. "It starts at 5pm, we have a train running up and down the mall for the kids, entertainment throughout the West mall."
"You only have to look at social media to see that the response so far has already been amazing.
"It took about a week to install the tree, the community has been getting more and more excited, we're finally doing Christmas properly!
"A big hats-off also to our team who put it up, it took a long time and it's a complicated job."
Graham Reimers who hand-reared 'Rocky' Australian-born red reindeer whose heritage can be traced back to ancient Germany, said Christmas is not just for the young, but also for the young at heart.
"Rocky's my mate, he's been with me for 10 years. Rocky is one of many reindeer we have and we travel all over the East Coast of Australia."
Mr Reimers said Rocky has brought much pleasure to many people all over the country.
"When I first started out 34 years ago, I thought it was just for the kids, well it's not, adults get just as much out of it for sure.
"The surprise and excitement on the faces of the kids, just the smiles, there's nothing else that can bring the kind of excitement and wonder to those kids than these deer."
Christmas in the Mall starts at 5pm November 30, and concludes at 9pm.
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