More than 80,000 people are estimated to have attended the diverse range of 2023 Christmas in Ipswich events and New Year’s Eve festivities across the city.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said festive celebrations delivered by council and a range of community groups drew crowds from Rosewood to Redbank Plains and every community in between.
“The centrepiece of Ipswich’s celebrations was again the transformation of our city’s emerging heart, the Nicholas Street Precinct, into the popular St Nicholas Precinct over 10 fantastic evenings in December,” Mayor Harding said.
“There was just short of 50,000 patrons through the St Nicholas Precinct to witness more than 240 individual performers taking to the stage. More than 80 per cent of these acts were local talent in what was a fuller Christmas program than the year before.
“An initiative I was particularly pleased to see in the program was the priority viewing nights for our St Nicholas Precinct light installation for residents of aged care facilities and those with sensory needs.
“Ipswich is an inclusive community, and the program was designed so as many people as possible could take part and celebrate.”
The annual City of Ipswich Christmas Lights Competition had 88 unmissable residential and shop front displays, up by 20 per cent on the previous year.
Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said the city’s Christmas program featured several low-cost events.
“Ipswich residents and visitors revelled in amazing suburban light wonderlands, heart-warming community carols and finished with New Year’s Eve fireworks lighting up the skies at Chuwar, South Ripley, Ipswich Central and Springfield Central,” Councillor Fechner said.
“The city’s magnificent nine-metre-tall Christmas tree was lit with 8,600 fairy lights and more than 1,500 Letters to Santa were posted to the North Pole by Ipswich Libraries elves – a 50 per cent increase on the previous year,” he said.
Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chairperson Councillor Marnie Doyle said the enormous number attendees at Christmas in Ipswich events provided economic benefits.
“The benefits of these successful events ripple across the local economy, well beyond the actual event location,” Councillor Doyle said.
“Residents and visitors have shared their happy and joyous experiences at Christmas events in Ipswich with family, friends, and across social media.”