Santa illuminates Christmas at Proserpine's Pioneer Park
THE sound of fire truck sirens alerted the kids to his presence in Proserpine on Saturday night.
No sooner had Santa Clause alighted from his carriage before he was mobbed by a group of enthusiastic children at Pioneer Park.
Before the taking of Christmas orders and the handing out of lolly bags Santa and his little elf helper had some serious business to take care of - the throwing of the switch to illuminate the huge Christmas tree in the park.
The Whitsunday Regional Council sponsored display has been part of a collaborative move to "to enhance the Christmas spirit across the region".
Secretary of the Proserpine Chamber of Commerce Karen Vloedmans said that the chamber was delighted to have worked with council on town decorations this Christmas.
"Christmas is such a magical time of year, it will be wonderful to see the region looking festive, "she said.
Children and their families then gathered for photos with the festive season celebrity.
Ross Collingwood aka Santa Claus said he had played the role for 37 years and first donned the red suit when doing fund raising work in Bowen.
"I got the job because I was the only one fortunate enough to to stick my hand in the air and put the suit on," he said.
"I have had so much fun, I have always believed Christmas is for kids and I am the biggest kid of the lot of them so I fit right in."
Santa said this year requests for electronic gear including iPhones topped the list from the older kids and the younger ones were asking for hamster and puppy robot animals.
"And the little ones especially the boys, you can't go past Lego. Everybody wants some Lego."
Self-confessed Christmas lover deputy mayor John Collins was there in Pioneer Park to supervise the lighting of the tree and said he was impressed with the turnout.
"It's good to see people coming out on a Saturday night with their kids and for Santa to rock up, it was fantastic," he said.
Cr Collins said this year in Proserpine there is a real Christmas spirit in the air and he looked forward to judging the Proserpine Chamber of Commerce Christmas lights competition.
To enter the competition post your photo on the Whitsunday Coast Guardian's website and use the hashtag #shopproserpine.