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Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland

When:

Thu 20 Dec 2012, 7:00pm–10:00pm
Fri 21 Dec 2012, 7:00pm–10:00pm
Sat 22 Dec 2012, 7:00pm–10:00pm
Sun 23 Dec 2012, 7:00pm–10:00pm
Mon 24 Dec 2012, 7:00pm–10:00pm

Where: Queens Park, Corner Margaret Street and Lindsay Street, Toowoomba

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Website:

Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland began with the dream of creating an event that the whole community could come to and experience the joy and wonder of Christmas. The original creators Burstow's Funerals wanted to create a delightful display of lights, provide supper and free giveaways for the children.

Tentatively Burstow's Funerals took their first steps, and wondered if anyone would come. But come they did-in droves, amazed at the spectacle and stunned at the generosity. Burstow's in turn were overwhelmed as the community opened their hearts and pockets, and wanted to give something back. And so the 'Gold Coin Donation' was started for us. They never intended to create a fundraiser, but this has grown to be a major part of the event. 2007 saw $96 000 raised. This came from visitors, a charity auction and substantial donations from local businesses. The major beneficiary was Lifeline, and in particular their Living Works Program (a suicide prevention initiative), even though we are providing a festive event, we are aware that for many in our community, Christmas is not always a wonderful time. Lifeline is inundated over the Christmas season with requests for support. The minor beneficiary for 2007 was 2nd Toowoomba Scouts.

The Christmas Wonderland has now grown to be one of Queensland's biggest light extravaganzas, and in 2007 Burstow's welcomed about 50,000 visitors. The event has continued to expand and many thousands of light bulbs have been added to the display. Burstow's greatest dream has been realised through a real sense of community which has been forged. Visitors are indicating that this is fast becoming a family tradition at Christmas, and 'See you at the lights' is being heard all over Toowoomba. Local businesses, community groups and individuals are now approaching us, totally supporting the idea, and wanting to get involved.

In early 2008 the Burstow Families chose the Lions Club of West Toowoomba to pass the responsibility of staging the Toowoomba Christmas Wonderland of Lights. Burstow's Funerals had acknowledged that their site at 1020 Ruthven Street was no longer suitable to sustain this very large community activity during December each year.

In 2008 the Christmas Wonderland moved to Queens Park for the first time. Approximately 48,000 people attended the lights from the 6th - 24th December 2008. A total of $60,000 was raised with $15,000 going to each of the three major charities, $5,000 shared amongst minor beneficiaries and $10,000 kept by the Lions Club of West Toowoomba for seed funding for 2009.

In 2009 approximately $65,000 was raised with $16,000 going to each of the three major charities plus funds shared with other minor beneficiaries.

In 2010 the Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland experienced a very wet month with 5 nights totally washed out. In late December 2010 and early January 2011 we experienced wide spread extensive flooding in the Lockyer Valley, Toowoomba and Darling Downs.

In 2011 the Toowoomba Christmas Wonderland raised an amazing $75,000 for our three major beneficiaries. Over 55,000 people attended the lights from the 3rd to the 24th December 2011.

This is the 10th year since its inception but the fifth time Toowoomba's Christmas Wonderland will be held at the 'Botanical Gardens in Queens Park from the 1st to the 24th December 2012.

We look forward to seeing thousands of people at this year's event in support of our three major beneficiaries Lifeline Darling Downs & South West Qld Ltd, Toowoomba Hospital Foundation and Toowoomba Hospice.

Volunteer support this year is also expected to be received from not only the three major beneficiaries but also from other valued organisations.


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