Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

The summer heat was no obstacle to Christmas cheer on Saturday as thousands of families flocked to St. Georges Terrace for a very special Christmas competition.

Perth became a Christmas-summer wonderland as 20 themed fleets rolled through the CBD accompanied by 2,500 dancers, musicians and performers to the 50th Alinta Energy Christmas competition.

Ben O'Shea and Rangi Hirini.
Camera iconBen O’Shea and Rangi Hirini. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The Western Australian
Telethon children Lucy Antipas (r) and Oliver Lim.
Camera iconTelethon children Lucy Antipas (r) and Oliver Lim. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The Western Australian

Santa got a special COVID border waiver to get into WA for the occasion.

Among the eager youngsters waiting for hours to catch a glimpse of North Pole’s most famous resident was two-year-old Van Hutchinson, pictured with his mother Lauren, in his first ever Christmas competition.

Thick cat.
Camera iconThick cat. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The Western Australian
Avianna Nunn, Alisha Alder, Jessica Bedford, Lew Nunn & Kristina Nunn from Golden Bay.
Camera iconAvianna Nunn, Alisha Alder, Jessica Bedford, Lew Nunn & Kristina Nunn from Golden Bay. Credit: Matt Jelonek/Matt Jelonek

“We’re very excited to see the fireworks and all the characters and Santa Claus, of course,” Lauren said.

“This is the first year (Van’s) really shows any interest in Santa … he kept saying how excited he was to see him and give him a hint.”

The Chidlow, Stanich, Ross and Gilbert families.
Camera iconThe Chidlow, Stanich, Ross and Gilbert families. Credit: Jackson Flindell/Sunday Times
Angela Tsun with Santa.
Camera iconAngela Tsun with Santa. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The Western Australian

Fat Cat was also full of Christmas cheer. The West Australian newspaper’s float featured The West Live host Ben O’Shea, dressed as the Nutcracker, with fellow journalist Rangi Hirini volunteering to help spread Christmas cheer.

“When I was my first Christmas competition, I think I underestimated how big the audience would look up here on the float, but it was a reminder of how lucky we are to be in WA and part of our beautiful community,” O said Shea.

Basil Zempilas.
Camera iconBasil Zempilas. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The Western Australian
Basil Zempilas.
Camera iconBasil Zempilas. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The Western Australian

He also remembered that he was struck by how “completely magical” the iconic WA event was when he first moved here from the Northern Territory in the 1990s.

The Christmas competition first took to the streets of Perth in 1972, when the city had fewer than a million inhabitants.

Susannah Carr and Rick Ardon.
Camera iconSusannah Carr and Rick Ardon. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The Western Australian

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