Sydney lights-up for Christmas

The lighting of Sydney’s tallest tree, early visits from Santa, top children’s entertainment and free family concerts will launch the City of Sydney’s much-loved Christmas season of events.

Festivities kick-off on Thursday 26 November with two concerts in the heart of the city packed with free entertainment from 6pm–8.30pm.

The Martin Place Christmas Concert and tree lighting will be hosted by Channel 7 presenter James Tobin and feature performances by Hoot & Hootabelle, Sam Moran, Justine Clarke, the cast from The Sound of Music, Sydney Philharmonia Choir and Anthony Callea.

Santa and the Lord Mayor will arrive by sleigh ahead of the tree lighting and the night will finish with a fireworks spectacular.

Christmas on the Green at Hyde Park North will feature Saturday Disney’s Teigan Nash, Candice Dixon and Nathan Morgan as MCs and performances by Blinky Bill, Nay Nay Let’s Play, Australian Girls’ Choir, Lah Lah’s Big Live Band, Sam Moran and a visit from Santa.

“The City of Sydney has produced the annual Martin Place Christmas Concert and tree lighting for 43 years, attracting thousands of people into the city each year,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“The Martin Place and Hyde Park concerts are a wonderful opportunity for people to get into the festive spirit in the heart of the city with free live music, carols and Christmas cheer for the whole family.

“I look forward to joining the crowds as we celebrate another wonderful Sydney Christmas.”

During the concerts, the MLC Centre food court will offer a variety of food and beverage options and the GPO Dessert Bar will have a range of mouth-watering gelato, sweets and cakes on offer.

For the first time, the City has teamed up with Nickelodeon to offer two kids the opportunity to turn the lights on Sydney’s biggest Christmas tree. Read more about the tree lighting competition

Sydney’s most-loved Christmas tree will be dressed with 60,000 lights, 120 interactive stars, 200 stainless steel baubles and a 1.5-metre star on top.

Standing 20 metres tall in Martin Place, passers-by can jump on the interactive dance pad at the tree base and text or tweet a message using #sydxmastree and it will appear on the tree’s branches.

The Sydney Christmas program also includes Village Christmas Concerts in Rushcutters Bay, Rosebery, Alexandria and Surry Hills, with live entertainment, carols, kids’ craft activities and special visits from Santa.

Martin Place will light up with projections and Sydney Town Hall will be illuminated in festive colours from dusk each day until Christmas.

From 10 December, the 75-metre façade of St Mary’s Cathedral will be illuminated with a free display of sound and light, storytelling the themes of Christmas using 3D projections.

Choristers will entertain shoppers in Pitt Street Mall and Martin Place throughout the festive season and more than a hundred live Christmas trees will line Pitt Street Mall under a canopy of 62,000 twinkling lights. The trees will be auctioned during the week of Christmas and all proceeds will go to the City’s Sydney Christmas charity partner, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT will host a demonstration and graduation ceremony for its new working dogs in Martin Place on 8 December. Passers-by will also have the opportunity to cuddle some adorable puppies that are soon to become trainee guide dogs.

For more information about the Sydney Christmas celebrations, visit sydneychristmas.com.au