IT’S beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
More than a thousand people came together on Friday to share some festive cheer over a picnic for the Bendigo Christmas Tree Light Up event.
Rosalind Park was brimming with Christmas hats, elves, reindeer and children’s characters as families gathered to mark the arrival of the festive season.
The crowd enjoyed performances from Hey De Ho Music, CV Dance Studio, Bendigo Youth Choir, Children’s entertainer Brett Gregory, Annie Galvin Kindergarten and Mez and the Christmas Band with master of ceremonies Cogho and Beck from Radio 3BO FM getting into the spirit of the evening.
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Barry Lyons said the event was all about getting together and enjoying Christmas.
“The appearance of the tree on the Rosalind Park piazza always heralds the arrival of the festive season.
“It is a fun time and it is important we put on a show and make sure everyone is included.
“Tonight I want to see people have a lot of fun and enjoyment. It is a free event and the weather is pretty much perfect.
“I am looking forward to Christmas, I think everyone is, for different reasons, for me it is about family.”
Family was certainly key for the event with people taking the opportunity to relax with their nearest and dearest.
Grandmother Lyn Boulton came along with grandaughter Ebony Rose for the first time.
“She was only 10 days old last Christmas so this is her first real Christmas," she said,
“We are going to a family members for Christmas, all 25 of us, I have just had my nineteenth grandchild."
Proud mum Amanda Pavilach was also there with her children.
“My daughter Stephanie just did her pledge to be a girl guide, and then we rushed over to get here.
“This is the start of Christmas. We came last year and we are here to support it again.”
The event was complemented by the Twilight Christmas Makers Market at Hargreaves Mall giving people a chance to get in some Christmas shopping.
Ray Pinner said it all helps people get into the Christmas spirit.
“It keeps people connected and it is just a great feeling to be here.”