THE Christmas spirit was alive and well on the Coffs Coast as the weather helped to complete an 11th hour rescue of the Carols By Candlelight.
The threat of rain prompted a total relocation of the stage at the Coffs Harbour Racing Club on Saturday, but just before nightfall a magnificent red sunset broke through the clouds.
It was a welcome sight for organisers, as the old Christmas classics and the sparkle of candlelights were met with glow sticks and a laser show spectacular.
In a big night of family entertainment, 145 performers aged from 6 to 89 years took to the stage.
“By any standards it was a huge success,” Coffs Harbour Racing Club events manager and licensee Simon Chladil said. “People’s uncertainty about the rain led to some major concerns and the stage was relocated to accommodate that. Yet the weather was kind to Coffs Harbour and the official crowd stood at 2800 – a great night had by all.”
Just seven weeks ago it appeared the Carols by Candlelight might not happen due to financial constraints.
Saving Christmas, the Coffs Harbour Racing Club took over and the support of McDonalds, the Coffs Coast Advocate, ETC, Park Beach Plaza, 2CS FM, Coffs Harbour City Council, NBN Television, Star FM, and Cut Price Pharmacy made it a reality.
“The work to bring together essentially a $100,000 production in just seven weeks has been amazing,” Mr Chladil said. “Firstly we set out to rescue the Carols By Candlelight for this year, but the big aim is to offer the community a safe, secure ongoing event.
“We’ll maintain the tradition for years to come and we’ll have a full 12 months to now plan the Carols.”