Chamber of Commerce ‘turns the lights on’ for 2019
LAST year it was artic winds that caused havoc at the Warwick Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Downtown.
This year a wall of thick smoke halted festivities from proceeding smoothly as attendees health and safety were prioritised.
“It was safe but the air quality changed very quickly,” event organiser and Chamber president Julia Keogh said.
“We were very fortunate that we were at a point in the program where Mayor Dobie had just announced Santa’s arrival and the performances were over.
“We did let people that if they had respiratory issues or families with small children, then it would probably be best to leave.”
While some patrons chose to leave, Mrs Keogh was touched by the number of people who decided to stay.
“The resilience of the people who did stay was incredible, a lot of them were like ‘it’s just a little bit of smoke’,” she said.
“The atmosphere of the pipe band as they walked down Grafton Street, with the backdrop of the smoke was just other-worldly.”
Despite the smoke, Christmas spirit was at its peak when the lights were officially turned on.
“The lights at the Post Office are just fantastic this year,” she said.
“Santa definitely made an entrance coming in on Cr Yve Stocks’ Cobra.
“The involvement from the different businesses, schools and not-for-profit organisations was just incredible.”
The event highlighted the ongoing community spirit according to Mrs Keogh.
“We are going through incredibly challenging times at the moment but last night the proof was in the pudding when you see people come together like that,” she said.
“The individuals and therefore the community are taking control of how we deal with these ongoing issues and that is the very nature of resilience.
“We may not have bucketloads of water, but we have bucketloads of community resilience.”