Council records largest carols turnout during 2021 festive season

Date published: 24 January 2022

More than 30,000 locals and visitors enjoyed Townsville City Council free Christmas and New Year’s Eve events last month.

The most highly attended event was Carols By Candlelight, with more than 15,000 people filling Riverway Oval to ring in Christmas 2021.

Planning for Carols By Candlelight starts in June and it takes three full days to erect the 105m-long tent that the event is held under.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the celebrations were a great boost to community spirit during the festive season.

“Council is proud of the attendance across the free Christmas and New Year’s Eve events in Townsville last month,” Cr Hill said.

“Carols By Candlelight was a particular standout, with more than 15,000 attendees. It was also a momentous event as it was 1 RAR Band musical director Matt O’Keeffe’s last performance in Townsville.

“The atmosphere at events like this is electric, with everyone from families with babies to senior citizens ready to sing along and enjoy one of the best free events in Townsville.

“Many of the food trucks were sold out before the end of the night, which is a great show of support for these local businesses.”

Cr Hill said other events, including Christmas in the City and the two New Year’s Eve events at Riverway and The Strand, showed just how much the community wanted to come together and celebrate after a tough two years.

“For Council the festive season is always about bringing the community together, forging new friendships, and sharing goodwill amongst neighbours. Our city always has a great festive spirit during holidays and it shines brightest during Christmas,” she said.

“To have almost 30,000 people attend free Council-led events across the city is a great outcome for us as a Council but also for the community which got to experience these carefully-planned events.”

The Christmas and New Year program was delivered by Townsville City Council alongside partner Battery World and media partners Townsville Bulletin, Southern Cross Austereo, Grant Broadcasters, 4K1G and WIN.

Festive season quick facts

Carols By Candlelight

  • Attendees: 15,000
  • Performers: 182
  • Planning time: Six months
  • Tent: 45m wide, 105m long, takes three days to erect
  • Bump-in: 10 days
  • Bump-out: three days
  • Food trucks: 19 food trucks from PUFT Events

Christmas in the City

  • Attendees: 7,000
  • Planning time: Five months
  • Food trucks: 22 food trucks from PUFT Events

New Year’s Eve

  • Attendees at Riverway: 3,600 at movie screening and fireworks
  • Attendees at The Strand: 5,000 at Strand Park, further attendees along The Strand