By Jen Gourley
Santa is all fired up for the Thangool Christmas Fair this Saturday (December 10)!
With his reindeer resting up for their super-sized sleigh-pull on Christmas Eve, the big guy in the red suit will be hopping on board a fire engine and arriving in style for this family-friendly festive event.
As well as this honorary firie who’ll comes with ho, ho, hos instead of a hose, there will be plenty to keep people of all ages entertained with live music, a jumping castle, face painting, bar, barbecue, train rides and lots of spins of the ham wheel (tickets just $2).
Thangool Christmas Fair has been going strong for the past 40 years thanks to the hard work and dedication of the members of Thangool Inc.
Christine Müller, long-time Thangool resident and Thangool Inc member, has many happy memories of this community-centred Christmas event, from attending it as a youngster to years of helping run the fair.
“We used to have it in the park,” Christine said. “We’d set up everything in the park – the barbecues, and the tables and the chairs… It’s so nice that Ashley Cook is singing this year because in those days in the park we used to invite the local Country ‘n’ Western Society, and they would come and all their singers would sing. So, it’s fabulous that tradition is keeping on going.”
In the early days of the fair, before it moved to its current location at the Thangool Rec Reserve, it was a simple but much-loved event.
“All we used to have in the park was the park equipment, we didn’t have anything else so it was just like a family night – still with the ham wheels and the barbecue, but we used to have to transport all the bar stuff down there, all the ice and everything, bring out all the chairs that we could find,” Christine laughed.
Now the Rec Reserve, located at Blanchs Rd, Thangool, is the perfect place for the fair, according to Christine.
“We’ve got everything there – the barbecue, the bar and all that land to have our Christmas fair. So it moved up there and Bob Moschioni made little train carriages and we used to use his ride-on mower and I used to be the train driver and we’d have a train station and tickets. But as our member numbers dropped and the Men’s Shed started up (and we wanted to make it a community thing where everybody who wanted to be involved could be involved) so the Men’s Shed now gets the joy of using their train and we donate to them for being there for the night.”
This year is also the first year that Thangool Inc has been able to hire a jumping castle locally, thereby supporting a new local business, Hotel Thangool.
“So, we have our barbecue and we have our bar and we have ham wheels, oh my goodness,” said Christine, “There’s two hams per spin for $2 ticket which is so reasonable. That’s our big draw card for those who want to win a ham for Christmas. And then for the children we have Santa, the jumping castle, the face painting and the train rides. It’s usually just a nice, simple little Christmas fair in our little town.
“It’s a nice tradition that we have it. We’ve had to cancel it a couple of times because of the rain, but mostly we go ahead with it anyway. Sometimes we can have 50 there, sometimes we can have 150, sometimes 200.”
The Christmas Fair is the major fundraiser for Thangool Inc, a community organisation that has been going for around 70 years. From maintaining and promoting the town to becoming a voice to help and support the local community, this group has done so much for the town of Thangool out of the kindness of their hearts.
And now, their annual Christmas event is just a few days away. Everyone from all over the district is welcome to attend, with festivities kicking off from 5pm this Saturday. For those keen to see Santa, he’s due to arrive at 7pm.
Thangool Christmas Fair is sponsored by Thangool Inc and the Banana Shire Council.