Last year I published my first guide to Carols by Candlelight. It was the ultimate guide to carols in Melbourne and is still one of the most popular articles I have ever posted on My Fair Melbourne. It makes me so happy to know that there are people out there who love carols as much as I do. Christmas is absolutely my favourite time of year. How could it not be? The 25th of December might be the only day of the year that everyone spends away from the office. Blackberries are safely switched off, clients are away from their desks and we can all just enjoy uninterrupted time with loved ones.
This year, like every year, Melbourne is putting on the spectacular Christmas show that is Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight. But there is more to carols in Melbourne than just the big one on Christmas Eve. Community carols are a great way to get into the spirit. Singing your heart out to songs full of joy with kids running around and candles flickering in the night is a beautiful way to spend an evening. Here is my guide to carols by candlelight in Melbourne, 2014. Pack a picnic and spend a night under the stars – I hope you enjoy it.
THE BIG ONES
24 December 2014- Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight
Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight is iconic. Coming up to its 76th year, it’s a Melbourne favourite with performances by the big names in Australian music along with a host of reality TV stars (think Anthony Callea and Rob Mills). Kate Cebrano and Marina Prior will be back again this year together with Lisa Wilkinson and David Campbell who will be on hosting duties. But take note, this one isn’t free with an adult general admission ticket setting you back around $65 but it’s worth it for the magic of carols on Christmas Eve – and it’s all going to a good cause. You can check out the full list of performers and ambassadors here.When: 24 December 2014 Where: Sidney Myer Music Bowl Cost: Ticket cost depends on seating. More details at ticketek here. Website: http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/Vision-Australias-Carols-By-Candlelight-tickets/artist/1270862?tm_link=edp_Artist_Name
23 December 2014 – Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight Rehearsal Night
The Rehearsal Night is a great way to enjoy a sneak preview of Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight. Yes there will be pauses between songs and yes you will most likely have to hear 12 days of Christmas rehearsed three times but bring a picnic and some friends and it is truly a fun night. You might want to purchase tickets in advance ($15 for adults and $7.50 for children), the rehearsal night is getting more and more popular each year.
When: 23 December 2013
Where: Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Cost: Usually a $15 donation for adults and $7.50 for kids.
YOUR COMMUNITY CAROLS – by date
4 December 2014 – Carols by Candlelight (RICHMOND)
Carols in Richmond’s Citizens Park promises to be a good one this year. The Australian Boys’ Choir will be doing a special performance as well as Fitzroy’s community choir, The KeyTones, and students from local schools. Santa promises to make an appearance too. Candles and song books will be available for purchase and a range of local food stalls like Fritz Gelato and Niche on Bridge will be set up for your picnicking pleasure.
When: 4 December 2014, 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Citizens Park – corner Highett and Church streets, Richmond
Four time ARIA award winner Katie Noonan will be performing at this year’s Knox Carols by Candlelight along with other big names in reality TV including Fatai V from The Voice, X-Factor finalist Daniel Kelaart and jazz vocalist Emma Pask. Other highlights will be an all new orchestra led by The Australian Navy Band, a troop of mischievous elves, a free fairground, arts and craft activities, a fireworks display and a live appearance by Santa Claus himself!
When: 6 December 2014, 4 pm to 10 pm
Where: Wally Tew Reserve Brenock Park Drive, Ferntree Gully
7 December 2014 – Kew Community Carols by Candlelight (KEW)
Set in Petrie Square, the Kew Community Carols by Candlelight will feature music from the Kew Band as well as activities for the kids, local artists and a community market. Bring along a picnic or enjoy the sausage sizzle and spring rolls provided by the local Vietnamese church.
When: 7 December 2014, 6.30 pm to 9 pm
Where: Petrie Square (Corner of Charles St and Cotham Rd), Kew
7 December 2014 – Maroondah Carols (CROYDON)
Maroondah Carols has a new home this year at Town Park in Croydon. There will be food stalls, candles, face painting, roving performers and the best part- a fireworks finale! Santa Claus promises to drop in too.
When: 7 December 2014, 6 pm pre-show entertainment with main event starting at 7.30 pm.
Where: Town Park, Norton Road, Croydon
7 December 2014 – Carols in Canterbury Gardens (CANTERBURY)
Activities start in Canterbury Gardens at 6.30pm with the main event beginning at 7.30pm.
When: 7 December 2014, 6.30 pm with the main event starting at 7.30 pm.
Where: Canterbury Gardens, corner Canterbury and Balwyn Roads, Canterbury
7 December 2014 – Carols in Queens Park (MOONEE PONDS)
The lush Queens Park will play host to this year’s Moonee Valley carols by candlelight. Performances by community groups and local favourites like Moonee Valley Brass and the Essendon Choral Society promise to make this a magical evening under the stars. There will be songbooks and refreshments available for purchase but patrons are welcome to bring along a picnic.
When: 7 December 2014, activities for the kids start at 5 pm with the main event 7 pm to 9 pm.
Where: Queens Park, Moonee Ponds
7 December 2014 – Hume Carols by Candlelight (BROADMEADOWS)
I remember looking forward to the Hume Carols by Candlelight every year as a child. It never disappointed. Local performers presented a beautiful mix of religious songs together with all the fun, festive tunes that kids adore. This year, former Hi-5 singer, Charli Robinson will be hosting the celebrations. There will be food, a market and craft stalls for the adults. Kids will also be entertained with a free (free!) jumping castle, arts and crafts and the chance to meet the man himself, Santa. Don’t miss the fireworks display at 9 pm – it should be a good one!
When: 7 December 2014, kids activities start at 6 pm and the show starts at 7 pm (fireworks at 9 pm).
Where: Broadmeadows Town Park, Pearcedale Road
9 December 2014 – Bayside Christmas Carols in the Park (BRIGHTON)
Another free community event, this time in Brighton, will feature traditional carols, local performers, guest artists and fireworks. In an attempt to minimise waste and impact on the environment this year’s song book will be available for download on your computer or mobile. See the website for further details.
When: 9 December 2014, 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm.
Where: Dendy Park, corner Dendy Street and Nepean Highway, Brighton.
12 December 2014 – City of Whittlesea Carols by Candlelight (MILL PARK)
The Whittlesea Carols by Candlelight is all about local talent with the community Carols Choir and the Diamond Valley Brass Band set to make an appearance. There will be food, face painting, a live nativity scene, an animal farm (don’t miss that) and art workshops for the kids – oh and keep a look out, you might spot Santa.
When: 12 December 2014, 7.00 pm to 10 pm
Where: Redleap Reserve, Redleap Avenue, Mill Park 3082
13 December 2014 Carols By Candlelight Banyule (GREENSBOROUGH)
The Diamond Valley Brass Band are busy this year making an appearance at both the Banyule and Whittlesea carols events. Banyule’s carols will feature The Australian Children’s Choir, The Kazoos, school choirs and roving performers too. Food and drink will be available for purchase and there will be free activities for the kids including an animal farm!
When: 13 December 2014, 6.30 pm (carols starting at 7.30 pm) to 9 pm
Where: 1 Flintoff Street (Opposite WaterMarc), Greensborough 3088
13 December 2014 – Carols by the Lake (COBURG)
Carols by the Lake always attracts stellar talent and this year is no exception. Silvie Paladino will be gracing the stage with those gorgeous vocal chords of hers as well as other top performers like Damian Callinan, Nicole Wallace and the Frankie Benedetto. A BBQ dinner will be on offer but you can bring your own picnic as well.
When: 13 December 2014, 6.00 pm (carols starting at 7.30 pm) to 10 pm
Where: Coburg Lake, Murray Road, Coburg
13 December 2014 – Carols in All Nations (NORTHCOTE)
There will be fun at Carols in All Nations this year with the event hosted by Kate McLennan and performances by the ARC Christmas Choir, Darebin City Brass, the Brunswick Women’s Choir and scores of other acts. Other highlights include a sausage sizzle and a free bike valet service to encourage green travel.
When: 13 December 2014, 6.00 pm (for a 6.30 start) to 9.15 pm
Where: All Nations Park, Separation Street Northcote
14 December 2014 – Carols Como Park (SOUTH YARRA)
Carols in Como Park is not to be missed this year with special guest Eddie Perfect (writer and star of Offspring) making an appearance and hopefully performing a few tunes. There will be a fireworks finale and the usual carols favourites to sing along to.
When: 14 December 2014, 7.30 pm start
Where: Como Park, Williams Road, South Yarra
Have I missed your local carols by candlelight event? Email me at email@example.com or put the details in the comments below and I will include them on the list. Merry Christmas!
Photo credits: please note that photos are originally from the websites you see listed above.