With the flick of a switch on December 1, Leura marked the start of Christmas by transforming into a fairy-tale German-style Yuletide village.
Visitors from as far away as Tennessee, local residents and families came together to watch in awe as the lights on a five metre Christmas tree were turned on.
Santa made a surprise appearance to hear the ‘wish list’ of children as the Leura Village Association (LVA), the SES, Mid Mountains Rotary and the Rural Fire Brigade carefully decorated the tree outside the Leura Post Office Newsagency.
Throughout December, Leura will celebrate the season of joy, peace - and presents - with lantern making workshops for its signature event, the Leura Christmas Lantern Parade, extended shop trading hours over two nights, local and internationally sourced gifts, roaming carollers and, of course, Santa.
As well as the unveiling of the Christmas tree, the charming street shops and boutique arcades completed displays along the streetscape with sparkling fairy lights and festive decorations, including 100 handmade stars and tinkling jingle bells hung throughout the shopping precinct. The famous cherry trees have been wrapped in red ribbon.
The LVA event is supported by a message to Blue Mountains residents to shop in Leura’s predominantly family-owned businesses, rather than online.
“While we understand online shopping meets the needs of today’s busy consumer, we need to create new opportunities to attract people back into retail spaces,” said LVA secretary and event organiser, Lindy du Moulin.
“By coming to Leura you can listen to live carols and see the huge Christmas tree as you buy plants from the nursery, get your ham from the butcher, and find all the unique items that your family and loved ones will not have seen anywhere else.”
The ‘Shop in Leura’ initiative is supported by the Blue Mountains Gazette, Radio Blue Mountains, and a social media campaign.
The four-week event also features a range of activities for children, including Leura Garage’s Lantern Decorating Workshops on December 4 and 13. The $10 per person workshops, from 3-5pm, includes healthy snacks using local produce, and an authentic lantern kit imported from Germany (bookings essential at www.leuragarage.com.au/lantern).
The signature event will be held on December 15 with the Leura Garage and the Mid Mountains Rotary Christmas Lantern Parade along Leura Mall. Rotary will also hold a sausage sizzle, gift wrapping and accompany Santa and his elves as they roam through the village to the sound of the RSL Band, choirs and buskers.
For more details visit https://leuravillage.wildapricot.org/.