CHEER: Chloe Gilbride sat on Santa's knee and admired the first Christmas tree in Airlie Beach last week.
CHEER: Chloe Gilbride sat on Santa's knee and admired the first Christmas tree in Airlie Beach last week. Inge Hansen

Tree delivers festive magic

"ONE, two, three, merry Christmas!” and with that, the powerful voices of a large group of children was enough to light Airlie Beach's very first Christmas tree on the main street.

Last week, Mayor Andrew Willcox, some councillors and plenty of parents and children waited eagerly for Santa Claus to make his grand entrance in a fire truck to officially turn the Christmas tree lights on.

However, it wasn't Santa who would turn them on, but the children.

Mayor Willcox told the children the tree was "voice activated” and after three attempts to turn it on, the children finally did it and boy, were the pleased with themselves.

"The kids really enjoyed that,” Mayor Willcox said.

Whitsunday local of 15 years, Rachael Grigg said she thought the tree was fantastic and that it was good for the community, children and their families.

"I remember when they used to have decorations down the (Main) street but not a tree,” she said.

"I hadn't thought about a Christmas tree but when I found out about it I was thrilled - it looks gorgeous.”

Mayor Willcox said the event was all about spreading Christmas cheer throughout the community.

"That's why (council) bought four trees (for the region),” he said.

"Hopefully we'll build on these things and make them bigger and better every year.”

Upon hearing it was in Council's plans to make Christmas bigger and better each year, Ms Grigg said it was a "fantastic” plan.

"Anything that adds to it would be amazing.”

Mayor Willcox said he was pleased with the community response.

"We really want to involve the community and let everyone have a merry Christmas and a great new year,” he said.

The tree will be lit every night for all to enjoy and view as they pass through the main street of Airlie Beach.


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