In the words of the great Michael Bublé, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”.
The iconic Geelong floating Christmas tree is officially back on show for the start of a new festive season, a little earlier than usual and we’re not complaining.
Usually arriving at the start of November, the world-class silver structure has carefully been towed into place ahead of Geelong’s annual Christmas celebrations., marking its eighth year in the bay.
Courtesy of Darryn Lyons, the infamous 25-metre structure debuted back in 2014 and has since given locals a spot to spend their nights leading up to Christmas, watching the light show synchronised to music and delighting people of all ages.
Not only bringing our community together and spreading that festive spirit, but the structure has attracted an attendance of around 1.6 million people in the last six years prior to COVID.
Usually, the Floating Christmas Tree launch would be celebrated with live entertainment, a light show and fireworks, however, last year saw the tree broadcast online via a live feed to allow the community – and world – to enjoy the landmark decoration from the comfort of their own homes, with a recording of the light and sound show also available. It’s unclear at this stage what route will be taken, but we imagine it all depends on timing and the restrictions outlined in Victoria’s roadmap.
Following its launch, the next few months will see a spectacular Floating Christmas Tree sound and light show staged each night between 8.30pm and midnight for people to visit in person down on the waterfront. The shows are approximately 6 minutes in length and play every 15 minutes.
The iconic floating Christmas tree is just one piece of this year’s expanded program of free Christmas events and activities across the region. The anticipated Christmas program will also include Christmas-themed projections on City Hall, School Christmas Trees in Johnstone Park, Festive street entertainment, Santa’s Letterbox, Geelong Giving Tree Appeal, a Giant Christmas Selfie Trail, and a giant Christmas tree which will be rolled out on the wall of the Civic Car Park opposite Geelong City Hall.
The Giant Christmas Selfie Trail will feature 22 destinations across the region, including five interactive artworks across Corio, North Geelong, and Norlane. Transform yourself into an angel with giant wings, kiss your special someone under the giant mistletoe, jump into one (or all) of the four snow globes, turn yourself into a hanging Christmas decoration and more!
“With an iconic Christmas tree that illuminates Corio Bay, the City of Greater Geelong is Victoria’s home of Christmas this holiday season,” says Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan.
“It has been a tough year for residents and businesses so we’re lighting the way with a program of free events and activities so that everyone can experience the joy of Christmas. Our Christmas program provides an economic benefit to the region, boosts Geelong’s profile and spreads pride and Christmas cheer throughout the community.
“The Geelong region will be filled with music, shopping, projections, decorations and activity as we help residents and businesses to get into the Christmas spirit.”
Prior to COVID-19, Geelong’s Christmas program generated an estimated $18.5 million in economic activity and attracted more than 330,000 visitors. This year’s program has been designed with safety as its highest priority, so visitors can enjoy the festive season in line with COVID-19 guidelines including social distancing, masks and QR codes.
“Given the challenging pandemic environment we have all been living through, we really want to create some positivity now, whilst also providing the community, including families and children, with something to look forward to and get excited about,” adds Councillor Eddy Kontelj.
“November and December are such a critical time of year for our hospitality businesses, so we’re encouraging everyone to dine out locally while enjoying the free entertainment and attractions provided across the region.
“From watching street performers or touring the selfie trail, we want community members to have fun while supporting local jobs and businesses. Christmas is a great time to dine out with friends or bring a small team together while supporting the bars, cafes and restaurants that have been doing it tough.”
The hashtag for 2021 is #GeelongChristmas. Visit the Geelong Christmas website here.