The premiere of Ipswich’s new Christmas attraction brought an astounding number of visitors to Nerima Gardens in December.
It was the first year that Ipswich City Council held the Christmas Wonderland event, bringing beautiful lights and decoration to Nerima Gardens in Queens Park with the support of our Sister City Nerima, Japan.
A total of 14,470 people passed under the arch during Christmas Wonderland, which ran in the weeks before Christmas. Of the 12 nights slated for the event, only three were cancelled due to weather. Ipswich City State Emergency Services (SES) volunteers assisted every night of the event.
The biggest night was on Sunday December 23, the second last night of the event, where 2410 people strolled through the lights display.
people enjoyed Christmas Wonderland
Council Events and Engagement Officer Joanne Hadnutt said five months of planning went into the event and they were amazed at the positive response.
“People said about Christmas Wonderland that they were really happy this was being showcased in the city,” she said.
The huge success of the event is already generating ideas for 2019, especially building on the popularity of roving performers and food trucks.
Ms Hadnutt said the nights the Christmas Wonderland was open went without a hitch, and the team were very pleased with how visitors respected the much-loved Nerima Gardens.
“A number of people said they didn’t know Nerima Gardens was there, that Ipswich had such a beautiful manicured park, and they were keen to come back and see what the gardens looked like without the lights,” she said.
Big crowds bring in the New Year at North Ipswich Reserve
The success of Christmas Wonderland was followed up by a massive crowd at Council’s New Year’s Eve event, with 6403 people at North Ipswich Reserve to celebrate the end of 2018.
A combination of perfect weather, food trucks, free rides, family entertainment and fireworks attracted the massive crowds, which was thousands more people than in 2016 (with 2017’s event cancelled due to weather).