Community spirit to come alive at Stawell Christmas Festival

A combined effort between the Stawell Apex Club and StawellBiz, will provide an opportunity for community spirit to come alive next Friday night.

StawellBiz and Apex have combined forces to present the Stawell Christmas Festival, which will incorporate a Christmas Parade down Main Street, followed by Carols by Candlelight at the Stawell Entertainment Centre.

StawellBiz is inviting organisations, community groups and business operators to enter a float or other moving exhibit in the parade.

Secretary Shelly Chalmers is encouraging residents to be more creative this year and dress their float up with a Christmas theme.

"We really want people to show some creativity this year," Ms Chalmers said.

"Floats can be dressed up with more of a Christmas theme to add to the atmosphere."

Most importantly, people thinking about entering a float in the parade need to register.

Santa will be joining the parade, riding on a float and handing out lollies to children in Main Street. Adding to the atmosphere and to ensure hungers are satisfied, members of the Stawell Pony Club will be cooking a barbecue in Main Street during the parade.

Floats should assemble at 6pm next Friday in Sloane Street, near the Stawell Library. The parade will make its way down Main Street only once this year, finishing at the cenotaph. Floats can be parked near Cato Park in Victoria Street while residents make their way to the Stawell Entertainment Centre for the annual Carols by Candlelight.

Apexian Sam Bowen said numbers were up at last year's Carols compared with the previous year and he hoped to see that trend continue next week.

"People are showing a lot more interest in the Carols, which is pleasing," Mr Bowen said.

"We will take on a whole new look this year, with a new Master of Ceremonies and a change of program, which will see less songs to ensure an earlier finish.

"Last year we finished around 11pm which was too late for many, so we have changed things around this year to cater for everyone."

Refreshments will be available at Carols, which will kick off at 7.30pm at the Entertainment Centre.

Both Shelly and Sam encourage the community to get behind the Stawell Christmas Parade and Carols by Candlelight this year.

"StawellBiz and Stawell Apex Club are both run by volunteers wanting to do something for the community," Shelly said.

"We are working together to make this festival bigger and better and we encourage the community to throw their support behind the event."

Anyone wanting to become involved in either StawellBiz or Apex should contact Shelly on 0439 351 579 or Sam on 0419 522 932.

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