Christmas spirit up in lights
The twinkling lights of Christmas Park are returning to spark festive spirit in the capital this year.
Organiser, businessman and philanthropist Robert Asdajic, said the event, now in its second year, would once again raise funds for disadvantaged families in local parishes.
“This year we will be doing three nights, not 24 nights like last year – 24 was a bit too much for me,” he laughed.
“In terms of lights though, it will be double the size of last year! I think we will have close to two million lights.”
Christmas Park will open from 15-17 December in the grounds of the Croatian Catholic Centre in Farrer.
Its centrepiece is a dazzling 17-metre-high Christmas tree, surrounded by a glowing forest of smaller trees.
“Every year I am going to build this up to be bigger and bigger in its purpose,” Robert said.
“Whatever money we collect stays in Canberra for the community. I think it is very important to be able to help families if something terrible has happened to them. We can still make a celebration of Christmas and put a little smile of the faces of the family.”
Each tree in Christmas park is available for sponsorship, with money donated to St Anthony’s Bread.
Robert is hoping to find a group of willing volunteers to help set up the display.
“It is a massive job, and will take several days,” he said.
“I am also looking for groups to perform, singing Christmas carols during the event. This could be schools or community groups – we want everyone to be involved!”
Father Anto Simunovic will bless the Christmas tree on the opening night.
“Santa Claus will be coming in each night with presents for the kids,” Robert said.
“We will have food vans, coffee and candy floss. I think it will be really good this year.”
Robert hopes Christmas Park will grow to incorporate thousands of trees in future years.
“We are looking at this for the long term – we will do it every year and make it a big Christmas event, so people can really feel Christmas coming,” he explained.