Jingle Bells in the park
A LITTLE African drummer boy had a gift for children, mums and dads at Queens Park in Maryborough yesterday – his amazing talent, pa rum pum pum pum.
Between Santa’s visit, a Wuppet show, wild rhythms with a Christmas twist by The Twine and Janette Jones’s performance of Amazing Grace, Mark Owino, 10, from Nairobi, captivated the 500-strong audience with a wonderful drumming display.
Carols in the Park co-ordinator Mel Haigh said Mark was in Australia as part of an Africa Equity program and loved to play his drums, bringing music and joy to all.
“He’s a former street boy who faced huge challenges to survive before going to the Immanuel Afrika Centre, Kenya, and here he is playing for us in Maryborough,” Ms Haigh said.
“This is what Christmas is all about – joy and the coming together of everyone.”
Rick Hose from Maryborough Apex Club, a new dad of three days, said the looks on children’s faces yesterday made the months of preparation for the club’s annual Santa Fair worthwhile.
“Today’s event has blitzed all expectations,” he said. “It’s the best crowd we’ve had in at least five years.”
The annual Santa Fair, previously held at other locations, was combined for the first time with Carols in the Park this year to produce a hugely successful day for Maryborough families and organisers.
“Combining the Santa Fair with the Festive Fraser Coast event and the Queens Park setting helped to increase numbers.
“The weather gods have also been kind. The looks on the children’s faces never cease to amaze me – it really is the simple things in life that count.”
Headlining the carols program of local artists was The Twine, winner of the Australian busking championships 2009, and crowd favourite in the finals of Australia’s Got Talent.
A dazzling fireworks display lit the night sky in a brilliant finale.