Want to win a Christmas ham? Arthur Wallis, Cr Kathy Duff and Barry Green were keeping the ham wheel spinning at Nanango’s annual Christmas Carnival last Thursday night

December 18, 2023

Nanango wrapped up its 175th anniversary year last Thursday evening with a giant Christmas Carnival in Pioneer Park.

This year, organisers decided to focus the Carnival on young children and inexpensive fun, leaving Kingaroy’s Christmas Carnival – which was running the same night – to cater to older teens in search of bigger amusement rides.

The strategy seemed perfectly timed for a year when many families faced increasing cost of living pressures as attendances were well up on previous years.

One big attraction was that there was a lot of completely free entertainment to enjoy.

This included performances from La Crème Dance Academy students on the Pioneer Park stage and local student musicians; miniature train rides around the grounds courtesy of Murgon’s Apex Club; a free inflatable jumping castle and inflatable slide thanks to Rosie’s Fun 4 All; a giant climbing wall; roving balloon twisting and soap bubble magic shows; and free fairy floss from Jen’s Party Supplies.

Adults could also try their luck on a $2-a-ticket Swickers ham wheel; browse through a large alleyway of market stalls for inexpensive Christmas gifts; or satisfy their hunger or thirst at numerous food and soft drink stands dotted around the grounds.

The highlight, of course, was a visit from Santa Claus.

The jolly red gentleman arrived at the park towards sunset to take Christmas wishes from a long, long line of excited children while his helpers handed out ice blocks and gifts.

Young children could also get free glow sticks, lollies, gingerbread men, Heritage Goodie Bags, hats, Heritage piggy banks, balloons, magic wands and toys, along with free lucky dips and face painting.

And after darkness fell, guests could conclude the evening admiring a spectacular fireworks display, courtesy of Nanango’s Heritage Branch.

Afterwards, organisers told southburnett.com.au they thought attendances were the “biggest in years”.

This year’s Christmas Carnival was organised by the Nanango Tourism and Development Association (NaTDA) and sponsored by Heritage Branch Nanango, the South Burnett Regional Council, Swickers and several Nanango businesses.

The carnival kicked off about 5:00pm with performances from La Crème Dance Academy students on the Pioneer Park stage
Murgon Apex Club brought along their miniature train to take families on unusual tours around the park all afternoon
Neil Rose, left, kept an eagle eye on young children using the inflatable castle and slippery slide he brought along
Jen, from Jen’s Party Supplies, did a roaring trade handing out free fairy floss to an eager crowd
Murgon Show Society president Alan Eagleson brought along his Mon-Dee Coffee 2 Go van to serve up coffees, hot chocolate and soft drinks to thirsty onlookers
Youngsters excitedly chased bubbles from one of the entertainers …
… while Santa and his helpers took Christmas requests and handed out free gifts to a long, long line of eager children
Pioneer Park was packed with Carnival guests from the top …
… right down to the bottom

A giant climbing wall was used by youngsters all evening …. (Photo: Sue Wallis)

…until the Carnival concluded with a fireworks display after nightfall (Photo: Sue Wallis)

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