GOODWILL gestures have continued to flow into the Bendigo Advertiser this morning for Friday night's Rosalind Park Christmas tree light up event.
The popular annual event was cancelled last week due to a lack of funding and sponsorship, but the City of Greater Bendigo yesterday confirmed it would go ahead after the community rallied for its return.
Today, Myer Bendigo has donated items from their Christmas collection for children attending the night.
Plasterama Bendigo has offered its time and painting activities to entertain children during the event.
Poyser Motors has offered cars and 'manpower' to assist with setting up and running the night.
KMart Bendigo has heavily discounted Christmas Santa hats for Bendigo Advertiser mascot Kooka to distribute to children on the night.
City of Greater Bendigo director of well being Pauline Gordon thanked everyone for the enormous support.
She said the program for the Christmas tree light up event was now complete.
Ms Gordon said anyone wanting to continue the goodwill generated by the light up event could direct their support to the special community lunch at the Bendigo Town Hall on Christmas Day.
Scores of people came forward yesterday also to donate a stage, audio equipment, lighting, MCs, entertainment and more.
Ms Gordon said it showed the Christmas spirit was alive and well in Bendigo.
“I am exceedingly excited about it,” she said.
“The council is ecstatic to be able to partner with the businesses and individuals who have come forward to make it a reality.
“I wasn’t surprised. There’s such a great community spirit and in times of difficulty, this community always rallies to the cause.”
The tree, complete with about 200 large purple and blue baubles, was craned into place yesterday.
It stands about 15 metres high and its lights will be switched on by a Bendigo Advertiser competition winner and mayor Lisa Ruffell at about 8.30pm on Friday.
“It’s going to be nothing less than brilliant,” Ms Gordon said.
“People need to come with their best singing voices.
“This has created an opportunity for people to get involved in determining all the priorities for the festive season for future years.
“We’ll start working on next year’s festive program early in the new year.”
Cr Ruffell said the event would start about 7.30pm and be followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree about an hour later when it was dark.
“I’m thrilled the public, business community and media have really promoted it,” she said.
“It’s an exciting time of year.”