CHRISTMAS CHEER: Erin, Keely and Tegan Hilton entertain the crowd at Carols in the Park.
CHRISTMAS CHEER: Erin, Keely and Tegan Hilton entertain the crowd at Carols in the Park. Gerard Walsh

Singers, get ready to light your candles

ONE event that is sure to pull a massive crowd, year-in year-out, is the annual Warwick Carols in the Park.

Thousands pack into Leslie Park to sing along with all of the traditional classics and a few newer favourites.

This year's free event will take place tonight and musical director Erin Hilton said it would be a fantastic family night out.

"The carols never fails to really make it start to feel like Christmas," she said.

"There's always a great atmosphere and the audience is brilliant, all singing along and having a ball."

The event starts at 5pm, but the Warwick crowd is renowned for getting in early to secure a good seat.

The Warwick City Band will begin proceedings and will be joined for the crowd warm-up by the Warwick Choral Society.

Performers this year include Erin, Tegan and Keely Hilton, Amy Liesegang, Kristy Searson, The Fern Brothers, Emma Bell and Chapter III.

Mrs Hilton said the show would start with a sing-along featuring all of the major performers.

"Then I'll do a few of the children's favourites," she said.

"Tracy Dobie will be on hand to give a Christmas address, as will Father Franco Filipetto. We'll also have songs from singing students and a couple of dance routines from Assumption College and Warwick High students."

Santa will arrive by fire engine shortly after 7pm and there will also be a best-dressed competition for the children to get involved in.

Southern Downs Regional Council economic development and tourism manager Scott Templeman said Carols in the Park had locked in eight food vendors, offering a variety of cuisine for carollers including wood-fired pizza, burgers, German sausages, twisted potatoes, ice cream and more.

"The event is alcohol-free," Mr Templeman said.

"Santa Claus will also be making an appearance despite his busy work schedule. and the event is supported by Creed and Lang, Southern Downs Automotive and Warwick Credit Union."

Mrs Hilton said Warwick should be there, or be square.

"It's a huge event and so much fun for everyone," she said. "Everyone gets a little song booklet and singing along is very much encouraged.

"Come along and get involved."

The low down:

- Starts 5pm, finishes 8.30pm

- Free for everyone

- Santa will visit about 7pm

- See heaps of performers

- Plenty of food and drink available



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