Communities rally for town Christmas decorations

Christmas lights in Clunes in 2016. Picture supplied: Clunes Neighbourhood House
Christmas lights in Clunes in 2016. Picture supplied: Clunes Neighbourhood House

Members of the Daylesford community are rallying for Christmas decorations in the town’s main street, after failing to secure a council grant. 

A crowdfunding campaign online raised over $3000 in under 24 hours, after a small group of community members who had decorated in previous years announced they could no longer afford to pay for decorations with their own money. 

Sue Waters was one of the drivers behind the town decorations and said she was blown away by the community’s generosity.

“I got a bit annoyed with the lack of decorations in the town. I spent $200 plus last year and another girl who helped spent $1200,” Ms Waters said.

“I just love that Christmas feel. There are a lot of kids in our town and I think without decorations, it doesn’t feel like Christmas.”

After a meeting of around 20 people on Monday night to plan for how the funding will be spent, Ms Waters said she hoped to buy decorations and begin putting them up around town in the next fortnight. 

Christmas decorations in Clunes 2016. Picture supplied: Clunes Neighbourhood House

Christmas decorations in Clunes 2016. Picture supplied: Clunes Neighbourhood House

Meanwhile, the installation of Christmas decorations in Creswick begun this week.

Kingston resident Jan Worthington has been working with a group of friends throughout the year to raise funds for the Creswick decorations. She raised around $10,000 through raffle fundraisers and contributions from Hepburn Shire Council and other organisations. Santa Claus will also be at the Creswick RSL Hall on December 15, 22 and 23 between 4pm and 7pm for Christmas photos. 

Christmas decorations are also going up around Clunes this week, with community members looking forward to a twilight market, roving entertainers and live bands each Friday night in December as part of the Clunes Christmas program. 

Clunes Neighbourhood House manager Lana de Kort said the decorations were to showcase the town and celebrate the spirit of Christmas. “It can be a time where people are lonely or feeling isolated, but by getting behind this as a community event, it gives everybody a chance to be involved,” Ms de Kort said. 

Hepburn Shire Council general manager infrastructure Bruce Lucas said council installed Christmas banners in the main streets of Daylesford, Trentham and Creswick. Community grants were available and groups in Creswick and Clunes had been successful in securing grants for festive projects.