18 May 2022

Let it snow! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... in July ... in Queanbeyan

| Evelyn Karatzas
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The countdown to Christmas in July is on in Queanbeyan. Photo: QPRC.

A special showcase of all things Christmas is rocking around Queanbeyan this July.

On Saturday, 9 July, the Christmas in July Markets will be taking over Queanbeyan Showground from 10 am to 3 pm to bring you all your festive favourites in one place.

QPRC performing arts and events program coordinator Sara Wightman said she looked forward to hosting the annual markets again, which have been cancelled for the past two years due to COVID.

“Our QPRC events team loves putting on events and this is our most exciting one,” she said.

“We love Christmas, so we really can’t wait for the markets to go ahead this year.”

READ ALSO Tis’ the season … finally! A Christmas in July Festival is dashing through the snow this Winter in Canberra

Sara said their last event saw up to 17,000 people attend in 2020 and it was their biggest event to date.

“This year we’re hoping to get around 10,000 people through the gates because we know some people are still a little bit cautious about getting out and about, so it depends on the day,” she said.

“We have had 60 people enquire for stalls so far, and we’re more than happy to take on more people who would like to come and be part of the event.”

The markets aim to showcase 250 stallholders from Canberra, the South Coast and surrounding regions, which will offer Christmas-inspired food and handmade gifts, gourmet treats, wine, crafts, fresh produce and more.

“Everybody likes Christmas, and this event has become really popular so we want to keep holding it,” Sara said.

“We’ve got some really exciting competitions and entertainment planned for this year.”

Highlights on the stage will include QPRC’s ‘Caroloke’ Christmas carol competition, a Christmas wrapping competition, a Christmas-themed cake and gingerbread house decorating competition and more.

Registrations are now open.

Jesse Settin is one of many who have registered for a stall. The 29-year-old will be bringing the taste of Christmas in the form of cupcakes with her Queanbeyan-based business, Love and Frosting Cupcakes.

“I’m really excited because I’ve never done a market before, and I have one coming up very soon, but this will be one of my first markets, so it’s a little nerve-racking,” Jesse said.

“I’ll be making Christmas themed cupcakes, normal cupcakes, loaded brownies, caramel slices, chocolate strawberries on a stick and sugar cookies.”

Jesse said she began her business as COVID restrictions hit in 2021.

“I’d always done decorating but not as a business, more on the side, but because everyone had birthdays coming up, I thought it was a good opportunity to get out there and it just went crazy,” she said.

Her biggest baking inspiration was her mum.

“My mum is an amazing cake decorator and she did it a lot when she was younger, so she’s just kind of taught me along the way and then I did the rest myself,” Jesse said.

READ ALSO Harris Farm Markets coming in to land at Canberra Airport next year

The Christmas in July Markets will also feature plenty of Christmas lights, Christmas hampers, singers and choirs performing Christmas classics, including the Australian Men’s Rugby Choir and Harmony Choral Choir.

There will also be activities and amusements for kids, including a giant slide, jumping castles and a petting zoo.

For people who have sensory issues or would like to attend the markets at a quieter time, Sara said they are welcome to attend the markets from 9 am to 10 am (online registration is required).

To find out more about the Christmas in July Market, or to apply as a stallholder, visit the QPRC website.

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I have never understood “Xmas in JUly”, if anything, it should be “Xmas in JUne”.
For a few reasons:
1. It’s six months after/before December.
2. The timing for the December Xmas was originally the Winter Solstice but, moved in the change from the Julian Calendar to the current Gregorian Calendar. Hence, “celebrating” it just after our Winter Solstice would make a lot more sense.
3. According to Historians, Jesus was more accurately born in March 4 BCE.
4. Xmas being celebrated in December was a result of a Norwegian Christian King, Harald Hardrada, moving the Pagan Yule celebration to the Winter Solstice, and claiming it for Jesus birth. Xmas trees & Yule Logs are among the other Pagan elements co-opted at the time.

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