FAMILIES are flocking to Bendigo's city centre in the race to get their hands on real Christmas trees that raise money for those in need.
COVID-19 has not stopped the Bendigo Christmas tradition from going ahead or created supply issues for volunteers at the Y Service Club of Bendigo.
But club treasurer Colin Lambie says people may need to get in quick now that the trees have gone on sale.
"They can sell out at any time," he said.
"We might be scheduled to close for the weekend at 4pm Sunday but we could have sold out by 2pm."
Mr Lambie said if people did not get in quickly enough this weekend they can wait for a followup order to arrive next Thursday.
While the club is unsure what demand will be like at the end of the topsy-turvy year that 2020 has been, Mr Lambie suspects it will be the same as it has in other years.
"Who knows, a lot of people who might often go away for Christmas might be staying home. So more people might buy Christmas trees," Mr Lambie said.
COVID-19 has not changed the way the Y Service Club plans to run this year's Christmas tree sale.
People can still turn up at Tom Tweed Stadium in Mundy Street at their convenience.
The sale will contrast sharply with the group's popular book sales that would normally have run over Easter and on the Grand Final long weekend.
The Y Service Club cancelled those event as the pandemic swept across Victoria but the group did do a smaller sale last November after lockdowns had eased and people were allowed to congregate in bigger groups.
Mr Lambie said the club raised about $6500 dollars through the small weekend-long event held in a side lane at the stadium, rather than on the main floor where books are normally sold.
"We were very happy with that. It worked out to a couple of thousands books being sold," Mr Lambie said.
"After we packed away what hadn't been sold and put it all back in the shed it didn't seem like we'd made all that much of a dint in the mountain of books that are there, though."
Mr Lambie said the club had tossed around an idea to hold at least one more book fair before Easter in something of a summer series that would help clear out the growing number of books that had been donated.
However, they have decided it would not be practical and would like to wait until Easter and a chance for a bigger sale.
"We had a lot of categories (of books) that we couldn't put out. Hopefully at Easter we can put more out and people can get what they want," Mr Lambie said.
He hoped the sale could move back onto the stadium floor.
"I think even now we can do that as long as we have 50 people at a time. But given we get 100s of people lined up at the door over Easter we think we would have a bit of a policing problem," Mr Lambie said.