Festive Season spirit funded for 2024

Find out about Sunshine Coast Council's plans for the 2024 Festive Season Program.

Festive Season spirit funded for 2024

The festive season may be coming to a close, but Sunshine Coast Council is already planning for the next one with the same Festive Season Program $948,350 budget, which covers Christmas, New Year’s and Australia Day celebrations in 2024.

Christmas decorations will continue to brighten up roadways and neighbourhood parks with more than 360 street banners, 65 lit street pole decorations and 25 decorated natural trees across the region at a cost of $529,072 for the region-wide project.

In lieu of producing a Council-run Christmas events, more money will go into community-led Christmas events through the Festive and Commemorative Events grant program with a boost of $66,304 to provide more than $121,720 worth of grant funding.

A review in 2021 revealed that 71 per cent of successful funding applications were for Christmas events, compared to 10 per cent for Australia Day and 20 per cent for New Year’s Eve and that 95% of funding recipients reported increasingly higher event costs.

Changes to the New Year’s eve program will also see a safer, alcohol free space for young people to celebrate.

Sunshine Coast Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the same event organisers requested funding for the same community events year-on-year, and that funding was vital for the success of these long-established community run events, as well as allowing new communities to also celebrate.

To support these groups in their planning and sustainability multi-year funding was initiated to enable consistent support.

Street entertainers at Mooloolaba New Year's Eve 2023.

Street entertainers at Mooloolaba New Year's Eve 2023.

New plans for New Year celebrations

Mooloolaba attracts upwards of 35,000 people annually to ring in the new year. However, with Mooloolaba placemaking works in progress this year, now is the time to evolve what New Year celebrations might look like.

Using the same budget but targeting the two key audiences – families and the youth demographic – the $297,558 New Year celebration budget will be split over two events in 2024.

Councillor Law shared that community feedback and attendance figures showed a clear preference for 8.30pm fireworks over midnight fireworks.

“We know families love the 8.30pm slot and then pack-up and go, while the young people need a safe, entertaining event for the rest of the evening,” Cr Law said.

“With that in mind, the 8.30pm fireworks will continue to be the main drawcard for families at Mooloolaba beachfront while a new youth event will be introduced to offer entertainment for young people.”

The new low-cost ticketed youth event, designed in partnership with youth, Queensland Policy Service and Red Frogs, will be introduced to offer entertainment for young people, targeted at 13-18-year-olds.

While a venue is yet to be confirmed, the proposed 8pm to midnight event will be alcohol and drug free and offer chill out and sensory zones, live music, free transport, security, food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Australia Day continues

Council has delivered an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony for many years that consistently achieved a good to excellent satisfaction rating of 90%. 

Council will continue to deliver the Federal Government funded event on Australia Day, while also funding Community-led Australia Day events through the Festive and Commemorative Events grants program.

This article Festive Season spirit funded for 2024 has been supplied from the OurSC website and has been published here with permission.