Adelaide City Council proposes huge Christmas Festival for 2023

Adelaide could get its own Christmas Festival next year if a review is approved by Adelaide City Council, after its initial proposal in 2018.

Adelaide could play host to its first Christmas Festival next year.

The city would be the premiere location in South Australia to host the signature event, which would incorporate festive magical places, must-see dynamic destinations, decorations and lighting and sensory experiences.

A motion to consider the festival was moved by councillor Mary Couros at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, saying no other capital city in the country has Christmas as a tourist draw-card.

“I raised this concept back in 2018, but then we had Covid and that set us back,” says Ms Couros. “It was decided we will now work with two subsidiaries to build a strategy over four years to help support our retail and hospitality traders”.

Ms Couros said countries such as Singapore and Europe would influence the strategy.

Every year, Orchard Road in Singpore is transformed into a land of wonder known as ‘Christmas on a Great Street’ with lights, decorations and entertainment. In the UK, Regent Street in London get its annual festive glow up with garlands of lights down the length of the road.

“Singapore is forever growing and expanding their Christmas festivities on Orchard Road. Every shopping mall has brightly lit themes out the front. The island is an entire wonderland, Europe is just as amazing,” said Ms Couros.

“We would look at other ideas abroad and see how we could apply that to suit our city.”

Adelaide is no stranger to Christmas celebrations with the first ever John Martins Christmas pageant held on Saturday 18 November, 1933, some thirty-seven years after the creation of the Magic Cave. The pageant would escort Father Christmas to the Magic Cave and herald the start of the Christmas season. Apart from a hiatus through World War II, it’s been an annual city event ever since and is now called the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant, which made its comeback this year after Covid-19.

A previous lights display in Adelaide. Image supplied by Mary Couros

Ms Couros said she would like to see the Christmas Festival resemble the scale of Illuminate Adelaide and incorporate not just the CBD, but surrounding areas such as North Adelaide.

“Imagine all our buildings lit up in festive lighting with moving parts within the city and surrounding areas,” Ms Couros said. “It could be brimming with magical places, must see dynamic destinations, decorations and sensory experiences that draw people in day and night.

“City businesses, artists and makers could be supported to grow their cultural, artistic and economic
contribution to the city, to attract audiences and visitors from interstate to holiday here during the Christmas season”.

A report will now be prepared and presented to Adelaide City Council for review in March 2023.


Read all the Christmas news here

More News

To Top