Wingecarribee Shire Council is set to ring in the festive season following the overnight adoption of several yuletide recommendations.
Central to the Shire-wide Christmas celebrations will be the support by Council of numerous ‘twilight’ trading initiatives including extended operating hours.
Permits will also be waived to encourage shop owners to festoon the exterior of their stores and awnings with festive decorations.
Council’s Interim Administrator Mr Viv May said the Council-supported community celebrations were twofold.
“We believe all residents will appreciate a bit of festive colour and cheer following a particularly tough year,” he said.
“We also anticipate that physical distancing restrictions will have eased and that by extending Christmas trading hours shoppers will be enticed out to support their favourite Highlands business or eatery.”
Other recommendations include hosting a ‘Festival of Lights’ event in Bowral’s Corbett Gardens over two consecutive nights in December.
Village associations will also be eligible for funding to host community led festivities including those on Council-managed or owned properties.
“Fires and COVID restrictions have taken a huge toll on our Shire businesses and economy,” Mr May said.
“These initiatives are designed to welcome back shoppers to our towns and villages and provide a much-needed shot-in-the-arm for retailers leading into the holiday season.”
Other initiatives proposed include installing giant Christmas trees at key locations in Mittagong, Bowral and Moss Vale.
Council’s annual Mayoral Gift Giving Tree and staff-organised Community Christmas Dinner will also return.
A total of $103,000 will be allocated toward the Shire-wide Christmas celebrations.
Council will undertake a full review of the trial program with key stakeholders including retailers and Business Chambers in February 2022.