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    Santa Claus shimmies for the audience with his Dance Troupe behind him at Horsham Carols by Candlelight.

Plan to ignite Christmas spirit with Carols by Candlelight

Organisers of a traditional Christmas event in the Wimmera hope a move to take live music performances online will help bridge community connection during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Horsham’s Carols by Candlelight will feature live and pre-recorded performances from Wimmera and ‘high-profile’ musicians on December 6 this year. 

In past years the event has been outdoors at  Horsham Soundshell and involved live music and singing performances from choirs, Australian artists and school groups. 

Thousands of residents would head down to the Sawyer Park venue, by the Wimmera River, to enjoy the free event. Some years have attracted up to 5000 spectators. 

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Event co-ordinator Simon Dandy said while COVID-19 restrictions would prevent a physical event going ahead this year, he encouraged people across the region to tune in for virtual performances. 

“Yes, it’s different to normal. But it’s going to be a great event. We’re passionate that we’re going to put something really fantastic together,” he said. 

“Going online has opened doors for other things to happen as well. People who couldn’t be involved in the past because of travel and distance now can. In a perfect world we’d be down at the soundshell on our rugs enjoying community fellowship. 

“This year, people will be able to enjoy the evening from their family home.” 

Mr Dandy said the aim of the event, as in past years, was to ‘ignite the Christmas spirit’. 

“It would be easy for us not to do something this year due to the pandemic, but it’s really important to get that Christmas spirit out there this year,” he said. 

“People need that pick me up. Most people have probably had a pretty ordinary year in terms of not being able to see other people or do the things they love. Especially from the performers perspective – most people wouldn’t have been able to do anything.” 

Artists set to perform for the event are yet to be confirmed. But Mr Dandy said there would be a mix of classical, rock and traditional Christmas performances. 

“There will be a wide range of performances. It should cater for a lot of different likes and tastes in the community,” he said.

The entire October 14, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!