Ballarat’s Christmas carols are on the move with this year’s festive sing-a-long to take place at Mars Stadium.
The stadium is the fourth home for the traditional carol service, which began 48 years ago in a Ballarat backyard before several decades at Eureka Gardens and, more recently, at North Gardens.
This year’s event will take place on Sunday December 16 at 7.30pm.
Event coordinator Shayne Westblade said Ballarat Council had offered Mars Stadium to carols organisers as a venue for this year’s Christmas concert, an invitation they were excited to take up.
“Council offered us that venue, and it makes it easier for organising the event. Mars Stadium has better facilities, better ground surface, access to lighting and all the facilities are already there,” Mr Westblade said.
Families will still be able to bring a picnic, spread a rug out on the grassy oval and relax with family and friends.
The only change to the event will be a glass ban and bag checks.
“Because it’s an AFL venue we are not permitted to have glass on the field so we will have to do bag checks,” Mr Westblade said.
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“We want to keep it as a community carols so people can bring a picnic rug or chairs so people will be sitting on the oval with the stage on the edge of the field under the big screen.”
The oval’s big screens and lighting will also be used during the family event.
Food trucks will be on site for those who don’t bring a picnic, and glow sticks and candles will be available to get in to the Christmas spirit.
Mr Westblade said the carols aligned with the council’s push to host more community events at Mars Stadium.
The new venue has resulted in more community and business support for the Christmas tradition, and will also allow the event to grow with the previous permit to hold the event at North Gardens limiting the audience to 5000.
A network of Ballarat churches puts on the annual Ballarat Carols, which will again support the 3BA Christmas Appeal and the agencies that are beneficiaries of the appeal.
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