A very special visitor is coming to Guyra this Friday.
Santa Claus himself will be guest of honour at Guyra’s annual Christmas party in Bradley Street.
He’s arriving not in a sleigh drawn by white boomers, racing through the blazing sun, but in a fire engine at twilight.
“We want all the little children in Guyra and surrounds to come along, meet Santa, and get a little gift!” organiser Hans Hietbrink said.
Armidale Regional Council is sponsoring the event, which Mr Hietbrink is organizing as president of the Rotary Club of Guyra.
Festivities start at 5pm. This is the first time the Guyra Christmas party has been held at dusk.
“In previous years,” Mr Hietbrink said, “we’ve had it in the middle of the day. The main street of Guyra is bitumen, so it gets quite hot!
“By doing it from 5 o’clock onwards, it’s a lovely time of the day, and it should be quite pleasant.”
Local schools will march down Bradley Street at 5.30pm, from the council building to the huge Christmas tree outside the NAB.
Dot Vickery, Guyra’s Citizen of the Year, will light the tree – and Santa arrives at 6pm.
Armidale Regional Council mayor Simon Murray will make a welcome speech.
Mobile disco Jacko’s JukeBox will provide music.
“Hopefully, people will get out there, and dance to it!” Mr Hietbrink said.
Stalls from different organizations will sell their products, and raise funds. Rotary, for instance, will have its ham wheel, auctioning off legs of ham.
The market stalls will be set up on the edge of the street – rather than, as in previous years, in the middle, leaving the centre free for people.
Shops have been invited to remain open, so folk can avail themselves of shopping at the same time.
“It will be a wonderful event!” Mr Hietbrink said. “We encourage people to come along, and join in the festivities.”
Last year, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Armidale Regional Council mayor Simon Murray, and MLC Scot MacDonald were dunked.
No celebrities will be dunked, folded, spindled, or otherwise harmed this year.