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  • Newcastle lights up with festive cheer

Newcastle lights up with festive cheer

  • 01 December 2022

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Newcastle.

 That’s because the 2022 festive season officially kicked off with the lights on the gorgeous 11-metre-high Christmas tree in Wheeler Place turning on this week.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, with a little help from Santa and his hard-working elves, flicked the switch on Tuesday night, signalling the start of festivities for families to enjoy in the lead-up to Christmas.

The Christmas cheer will continue at Wheeler Place across two weekends – Saturday and Sunday, 10-18 December from 4.30 to 6.30pm with a raft of free family fun.

Santa and his elves will be taking a break from their busy schedules to pose for selfies with you and the family – even the furriest members.

Yep, that’s right.

Your pooch is also invited to join in on the Yuletide cheer by taking a picture perfect pawtrait with the big man himself.

Entertainers from Newcastle Music Academy and a special Christmas performance by the Novotones will add to the festive atmosphere during the Santa selfie sessions, while the towering Christmas tree will light up the precinct each night.

"We hope that the sight of our Christmas tree and the free, fun activities will help spread joy amongst friends and families, while also encouraging visitors to support our city centre's local businesses,” Cr Nelmes said.

"There is no better time than the lead-up to Christmas to shop locally, enjoy a night out at one of our city’s local bars or restaurants and show your support for Newcastle businesses, both in the city centre and surrounds."

It’s not just the CBD getting into the spirit of the season, either.

Hamilton’s James Street Plaza will play host to a special Santa’s cave for photos, as well as live performances, children’s craft workshops, gift-wrapping station and toy donation drop-off point organised by Hello Hamilton.

You can join Santa on Friday 2 and 9 December from 3pm to 6pm, and Saturday 3 and 10 December 9am to 1pm to snap your own special Christmas selfie, with professional photography packages also available.

Christmas Twilight Markets will also return to Hamilton’s Gregson Park on Tuesday 6 December from 3pm to 8pm, offering the perfect chance to pick up a unique Christmas gift from an array of local stall holders whilst enjoying live music, food and drinks.

In fact, there are Christmas markets happening right across the city in the lead up to the bug day.

Wallsend’s iconic rotunda will also come alive with a spectacular light display and Christmas tree lit by Santa on Thursday 1 December. The event will also feature Christmas carols, refreshments and photos with Santa from 6.30pm.

The festive cheer will continue in Wallsend with performances by popular children’s entertainers Little Scallywagz each Saturday in the lead up to Christmas at 11am and 12.30pm, while the Conscious Christmas Markets return from 10am to 1pm on 10 December, and Christmas carols will be performed by quartet After Five on 21, 22 and 23 December from 6pm to 7pm.

Head here to keep an eye on all the Christmas fun happening around you.

City of Newcastle’s Christmas tree will remain in place until Wednesday 11 January 2023.