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What's the biggest free Christmas event on the Coast?

Cooroy Santa Race 2011
Cooroy Santa Race 2011

When it comes to the biggest free Christmas event on the Sunshine Coast, the only real surprise is that it is held in a small community town in the hinterland – Cooroy!
The Christmas in Cooroy celebrations get a fantastic turnout of over 5000 people but that isn’t how they are the biggest, they simply have the biggest program of FREE activities on offer!
People from Hervey Bay to Brisbane come back to the event year after year and it is growing in popularity as the word gets out about what a great event it is.
“Christmas in Cooroy is unique because everything is free including rides, face painting and the Santa visit. But while those things are attractive to people it is the wealth of unique entertainment and the terrific community atmosphere that really gets people excited,” explained event manager Danielle Taylor.
The Bendigo Bank Street Parade is a big drawcard with around 30 floats decorated in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways. There are lots of giveaways and lollies handed out into the crowds and people of all ages are just amazed at how great the floats look.
The Great Santa Race is a truly amazing spectacle with Santa suit clad runners doing a roughly 300 metre sprint up the main street. There is a prize pool of $1,400 sponsored by Noosa to Hinterland Plumbing Group and while entry is $10 to compete in this you get a free Santa suit to run in and all the proceeds go to the Leukaemia Foundation. It is of course free to watch which is just as fun!
The streets are decorated and there are 27 shops with window displays and you can vote for your favourite to win a $100 IGA voucher. There is the Guardian Pharmacy Photo Exhibition on display at the Butter Factory Arts Centre where you can also vote in the People’s Choice Award. This year there will also be a smart phone photo competition on the day via The Cooroy App.
Everyone is also encouraged to come along dressed to the theme for this year’s festival which is “Australiana”. There are even spot prizes given out for fantastic costumes!
Other highlights include the Poets Breakfast at the Cooroy Hotel (the only ticketed event), the Wimmers East versus West Tug of War, local band Smokin Mirrors and a fantastic fireworks display. Plus there are market stalls, food stalls and even a bar.
Christmas in Cooroy is on Saturday 1 December from 4pm and you can get the full program and all the information at www.christmasincooroy.com.au.