December 7, 2016
The eruption of a super storm cell over Proston on Saturday night may have brought a slightly early end to the town’s Christmas Carnival, but it failed to dampen festive spirits.
This year a bevy of sponsors led by the Proston Lions, Proston Men’s Shed, Hivesville Markets, Proston Retail Business Group and the South Burnett Regional Council ensured that children effectively had a free night out, with two free jumping castles, a free merry-go-round, free ice creams, free gifts and the irrepressible Rollo The Clown to keep them happily amused.
This new direction for the Carnival also proved popular with parents, and organisers noted that attendance figures were noticeably up on last year’s event.
Adults could enjoy a range of food stalls, discreetly nip into several shops along Blake Street that had stayed open for late night Christmas gift shopping, or browse stands offering everything from craftwork and clothing to seasonal food favourites, calendars and cards.
And if they wanted to take a chance with Lady Luck, there was also a ham wheel that occasionally offered chooks, too, as well as a raffle for a hamper so big it needed a wheelbarrow to cart it off.
On stage, there was a variety of entertainment on offer including performances by the Proston State School Choir and other local students trying their hand at drama and comedy, along with whip-cracking and line dancing.
The Carnival kicked off at 5:00pm after a heatwave, and many guests welcomed the setting sun as a chance to cool down after a tiring day.
However the mood was decidedly upbeat despite the temperature. So when the Carnival’s announcer grabbed the microphone around 7:00pm to announce that Santa had been slightly delayed, no-one seemed to mind.
But another announcement at 7:30pm that the Weather Bureau had issued a severe weather warning for a storm cell that was about to cross Proston had many guests running for shelter.
The storm, when it arrived soon afterwards, was certainly as fierce as predicted: lightning bolts ripped across the sky, winds blew, rain fell and trees toppled in paddocks.
But those who remained finally got to see Santa after it was all over, and for them the appearance of the jolly gentleman in the red suit made it all worthwhile.