Community rallies to decorate town

Cardinia Arts Society Jillian Ronald with Yakkerboo in Pakenham''s Main Street. 201144_01.

By Jessica Anstice

A lack of Christmas cheer in previous years has prompted the Cardinia Art Society to tinsel up the town and ensure their annual celebration is better than ever before.

Thanks to a $1000 grant from Cardinia Shire Council, Pakenham’s Main Street will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland as of the first day of December, when the festive season commences.

Cardinia Arts Society president Jillian Ronalds says the role of decorating is not as easy as you might think.

“We’ve had to think of decorations that don’t matter if they get stolen, they need to be safe and it has to look nice,” she explained.

“I went to the Lakeside Residents Group meeting when they mentioned they were going to use red fabric to made bows to tie around trees and I thought that was a great idea, so that’s what we’re going to do.

“It’s not going to hurt anyone, it’s cheap, and it’ll look nice.”

Along with the bright red ribbons, shop windows will be decked out festive lights for everyone to enjoy.

“We’re going to purchase Christmas lights and offer them to business owners to put in their shop windows because that way it can’t be stolen,” she said.

“Cr Michael Schilling suggested we have a hunt for Santa, an elf or reindeer in the shop windows which I thought was such a cute idea, so hopefully we’ll do that one too.”

On Sunday 21 December, Cardinia Arts Society and Cardinia Ratepayers and Resident Association will host its annual community Christmas festival with heaps of fun for everyone.

Santa will be riding up and down Main Street from 11am on a horse and carriage with his little helpers handing out lollies.

A special raffle will take place in the lead up to the event with all donations going towards Mill Valley Ranch, who are donating the horse, carriage and their time.

The iconic Wally Wombat will also grace the street, while buskers from the Men’s Shed entertain with festive favourites.

A blackboard Christmas tree, designed by the arts society and built by the Men’s Shed, will be located outside the post office for children to draw on.

“We’re hoping to hire someone to create funky hair on the children using glitter and bells,” Ms Ronald said.

“If any children would like to come dressed as an elf, we will give them a basket of lollies which they can help hand out – it’s really good fun.”

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