Spirit shines at Mayor's Carols
THOUSANDS of people are expected to pour into the Ipswich Turf Club tomorrow for the Mayor's annual Christmas Carols by Candlelight.
The free night of entertainment, now in its eighth year, will feature live performances from the Ipswich City Orchestra, Shayne McCormick Ballet Centre and David De Vito.
There's also a Kung Fu Panda Show and Channel 10 Toasted TV personalities Kellyn Morris and Seamus Evans will make an appearance.
In addition to free entry, kids will also be able to enjoy free rides, face painting and fairy floss.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said the city should be extremely proud of the event, which had rapidly grown in popularity since it was first held in 2004.
"The city is recognised around the country because of the Christmas Carols," Cr Pisasale said. "It had to be moved to the turf club because it kept outgrowing previous venues at Brassall and Queens Park.
"The turf club is a fantastic, family-friendly venue."
Despite the rainy outlook, organisers are anticipating a crowd of between 5000 and 10,000.
"This year's crowd will largely depend on the weather," Cr Pisasale said.
"Either way I can assure the people of Ipswich that they will get a chance to sing."
A copy of the songbook will be available in tomorrow's QT, while a limited number will also be available at the event.
The Governor of Queensland, Penelope Wensley will address the crowd, as will the big guy in the red suit - who will travel to Bundamba all the way from the North Pole to take Christmas orders from Ipswich's best-behaved kids.
Cr Pisasale said Ms Wensley was instrumental in the rebuilding of Ipswich after the floods - one of the main themes for this year's carols.
"We will be thanking people for the role they played in the recovery," he said.
"We got through the floods because we worked as a community and, as a result, people are talking about Ipswich all over Australia."
Gates open at the Ipswich Turf Club at 5pm.
The entertainment gets under way at 6pm.
A great night of carols will be topped off with fireworks at 8.45pm.