An estimated 50,000 people interacted with Christmas-New Year celebrations across Ipswich.
The reimagined Christmas Wonderland and the new Finding Santa event proved a huge hit with residents and visitors to the city.
Ipswich City Council’s Christmas Lights Competition entries were also a popular attraction, plus community carols and street parties, the Christmas fireworks and markets, the annual Toy Run and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
City Events Manager Jo Jordan said 27,185 people visited Christmas Wonderland, with an estimated 25 per cent of these from outside the region.
“The display was incredibly well received by both locals and visitors. Responses from people in attendance and on social media said it rivalled the Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parklands,” Ms Jordan said.
“People commented that the queuing time was much less; that the Christmas Wonderland display was worth the wait on busier nights; and they were pleasantly surprised that Ipswich had put on an event of such high quality.”
“Given the growth in attendance this year (almost double 2018) one of our biggest challenges moving forward will now be how we plan for and manage the anticipated growth in visitation in 2020.”
Finding Santa, an augmented reality trail, received more than 20,000 interactions across 40 locations throughout the city.
Almost 2,800 Ipswich residents attended the New Year’s event at North Ipswich Reserve. Council decided to cancel the fireworks display after listening to public sentiment in regards to bushfires gripping the nation and the ongoing drought.
The River 94.9 Christmas Lights Competition received 65 entries across the city.
“The finalists and winners received many visitors with the community truly embracing these ‘suburban wonderlands’,” Ms Jordan said.
“The reinstatement of the Brassall Carols was well received and supported by the community. Council has entered into a three-year sponsorship of this event and the Carols at the Robelle Domain to support these community initiatives.”
Christmas Day may have passed, but the season of giving is not over: council has organised a special visit from a surprise Brisbane Broncos legend and a Street Party Pack thanks to IGA Springfield Lakes for Nova Court, the winning street in the River 94.9 Christmas Lights Competition.