Families have been provided a new range of Christmas activities to celebrate the holidays in Ballarat in 2017.
After recent success stories such as the Armstrong Street North Christmas Festival and Bridge Mall ferris wheel did not return, residents have been flocking to a new range of entertainment.
Ballarat City Council launched its interactive street art project earlier this month, which has encouraged patrons to get out and about in the central business district.
The project included a range of Christmas-themed 3D street art exhibitions.
Ballarat City mayor Samantha McIntosh said the street art project was chosen because it provided a point of difference to previous years’ celebrations.
“We thought this year the street art could be a way of involving many more people in the community across the whole season,” she said.
“It means anyone can be part of it, anyone can have fun. It isn’t just for kids or just for seniors, it is for everyone in the community.
“They have been an enormous hit – nearly every second person you walk past has received a card with a photo of a family member and the artwork or seen it themselves.”
Finding all the artwork can take up to a day of searching across the central business district.
Bridge Mall centre manager John Marios said although the ferris wheel had been a huge drawcard for traders, the mall had continued to thrive through its own Christmas events.
“You have to move on a look at other things that are fresh and exciting,” he said.
“In the mall now it is vibrant, full of people and a beautiful day for shopping, so it looks very busy.
“The mall is looking magnificent with decorations and other things we have going on.”
The mall hosted a children’s Christmas festival on December 9, which drew 3000 people into the Ballarat CBD.
It included free rides, jumping castles and craft activities.
There was also a secret Santa event, which saw $6500 in prizes given away to winners.
Mr Marios said there had been an event nearly every week in December.
“There was a lot of goodwill, which has generated back in sales, I believe people had very very good sales last Saturday,” he said.
”Every Saturday we have had some sort of major event and it is now a shopping frenzy.”