WHEN it comes to Christmas in Bathurst, there seems to be no celebration more beloved by the community than the annual Carols by Candlelight.
Now in its 40th year, the Carols see residents congregate in Machattie Park to enjoy festive performances from talented local performs, handpicked by Mitchell Conservatorium.
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Executive director Graham Sattler said that this Sunday’s event would be one of the biggest yet, with more than 100 individual performers set to grace the stage.
Auditions were held to select the performers for the night, with many familiar names from the Bathurst entertainment scene set to appear in the program.
“We will also be featuring a school choir this time around, which is the choir from the Cathedral Primary School,” Mr Sattler said.
“This is the first time we’ve had a school choir group audition.”
Mr Sattler said that, with the conservatorium having such a busy year, he loved the opportunity to open the Carols up to the community to participate in.
“Mitchell Conservatorium’s contribution to this event is to produce it, but the rest of it is owned by the Bathurst community,” he said.
A range of iconic and beloved Christmas carols will be performed on the night, with audience participation encouraged, particularly during the community carols that will be led by some of the soloists.
To help everyone be involved, extra stages will surround the rotunda and big screens will be placed in Machattie Park for people to watch the performances.
There will also be glow sticks available, courtesy of Reliance Bank, to create a warm atmosphere as the sun goes down.
Mitchell Conservatorium’s publicity and promotions officer, Lauren Hagney, has herself been coming to the carols since she was a child.
She will be taking on the role of emcee at the event and looks forward to seeing the community out enjoying the night.
“We aim to make it a friendly Christmas celebration for anyone in the community,” she said.
Carols by Candlelight will get underway in the park at 5.30pm with pre-show entertainment, ahead of the official start at 7pm.
People are encouraged to bring the whole family down, set up a picnic and enjoy the day.
Mr Sattler and Ms Hagney said to make sure the kids come along, as Santa Claus had RSVP’d for the event.
“He will take a small break in the wrapping to come along,” Ms Hagney said.