Sovereign Hill has delivered an early Christmas present to the City of Ballarat, celebrating over 95,000 visitors to its three-week Christmas in July Winter Wonderlights event, transforming a traditionally quiet winter period into a gold rush for the region.
For the outdoor museum, this year’s Winter Wonderlights was one of the largest events ever staged in its 48-year history, with its nightly projection show as significant to regional Victoria as many key metropolitan events are to Melbourne. The event continues to see growth, with Ballarat accommodation booked out throughout the event.
“We’re so excited to have delivered another spectacular Winter Wonderlights event for our visitors,” says Sovereign Hill’s Director of Marketing, Jennifer Ganske. “The past two weeks has seen Sovereign Hill transformed with 250,000 individual fairy lights twinkling across 15 kilometres of the outdoor museum, 161 Christmas themed performances in the Victoria Theatre, 115 faux snow falls along Main Street, and over 46 hours of dazzling light projections at night!”
“We strive to deliver a highly innovative event each year that brings enormous economic benefit to the city of Ballarat and delights our visitors, and we’re thrilled with the response that has seen us welcome visitors from all over regional Victoria, Australia, and internationally.”
Transforming Sovereign Hill into a Christmas Wonderland saw 144 gigantic baubles and 46 huge stars sparkled on the 9-metre high Christmas tree; over 46 hours of Christmas Carols were performed by the Brass Band; over 10,000 toffee apples were made and sold, with 960 sold in a single day; and 1.3 tonne of raspberry drops were made, and 10,071 jars of lollies sold.
Furthermore Sovereign Hill volunteers contributed over 4200 hours of time directly towards the event; over 287 horse and cart rides were enjoyed by visitors; 39,641 visitors went on a mine tour; and the Amazing Barry performed 69 hours of magic in the Grand Marquee.
“Our Winter Wonderlights event has established itself as one of the key events in Victoria and we want to thank all of the visitors from both near and far who travelled to Ballarat to attend the event, and look forward to welcoming them back next year,” said Jennifer.
Since its introduction in 2011, patronage to Winter Wonderlights has increased by over 275%, making it the most commercially successful event on Sovereign Hill’s calendar. For more information, visit: www.winterwonderlights.com.au for details.
Image: Winter Wonderlights – courtesy of Sovereign Hill