Celebrate Christmas in Sydney with Santa, trees, lights, markets and music

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Six free children’s concerts, Christmas markets, choirs, lights, a visit from Santa and the adored Martin Place Christmas tree will transform Sydney for the 2023 festive season.

The City of Sydney’s four-week Christmas celebration in the city centre and local neighbourhoods starts Saturday 25 November.

“We’re bringing a touch of Christmas magic to the city with lights, music, markets and a visit from the jolly man in red,” Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO said.

“Sydney sparkles and buzzes at this time of year, with the majestic Christmas tree in Martin Place a worthy centrepiece. We welcome families, shoppers and visitors to come in and soak up the festive atmosphere.”

The Lord Mayor unveiled details of the program today in Martin Place. Highlights include:

Sydney Christmas opening weekend – Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November

Christmas markets at Martin Place will be in full swing from 11am to 8pm, with roving Christmas characters at Pitt Street Mall and Martin Place over the opening weekend.

Choirs will perform at Town Hall and Wynyard stations, and Martin Place. Retailers will host pop-ups at Pitt Street Mall.

Santa’s Sydney sleigh ride – 6pm-8.30pm Thursday 30 November

The beloved 24-metre Martin Place Christmas tree will once again form the centrepiece of Christmas celebrations in Sydney.

Following a sleigh ride with the Lord Mayor from Circular Quay to Martin Place with a 65-piece marching band and elves on reindeer tricycles, Santa will officially light the Martin Place Christmas tree on Thursday 30 November under a glittering fireworks display.

The tallest Christmas tree in NSW is decorated with more than 110,000 lights and 330 glossy baubles.

Uniquely Australian, the tree’s 800 branches are dressed with 15,000 flowers representing 9 native blooms: banksia, waratah, bottlebrush, wattle, eucalyptus gum flower, kangaroo paw, flannel flower, pink wax flower and white wax flower. The Martin Place Christmas tree’s colourful sound and light show will take place every 15 minutes, 8pm to midnight from Thursday 30 November to Monday 1 January.

Neighbourhood Christmas concerts

Six free community concerts will take place over two weekends in December.

There’ll be music and dance from various performers, including The Listies, Justine Clarke, Diver City and Lah Lah’s Big Live Band, games and food trucks, as well as a visit from Santa.

Families can have their photo taken with Santa for a $5 donation to the City of Sydney’s charity partner, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

Bring a picnic rug to:

Accessible features at the concerts include Auslan interpretation, hearing loop and pick up area, online food menus and accessible toilets.

Martin Place Christmas markets

Returning to Martin Place for the second year running, markets will take place from Friday 24 November and throughout the weekend, creating a festive community atmosphere.

The markets feature more than 40 stallholders selling gifts, Christmas goodies, clothes, toys, homewares, art and food.

They will continue from 11am to 8pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until Christmas Eve.

Choirs

Choirs will sing all your Christmas favourites at the Martin Place Christmas tree 6pm to 8pm, 1 to 24 December.

Carols will be performed at the QVB forecourt from mid-December until 23 December.

Choirs include the Australian Girls Choir, the Jingle Belle Singers, the Sydney Street Choir and Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir.

Lights and decorations

Eleven Christmas trees are up around the city and local neighbourhoods.

From Saturday 25 November, a shimmering canopy of 80,000 suspended lights will help Pitt Street mall shine, with 8,000 icicle fairy lights spanning Martin Place.

Dazzling projections featuring Christmas baubles will light up the QVB façade along George Street. The Woolworths building across from Sydney Town Hall will be draped in a curtain of light.

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation

The City of Sydney is proud to support Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation this festive season.

Donate to help support critical specialist units and transport services for babies and children in times of urgent need. Help secure the best facilities to care for childhood health conditions and create environments focused on improving quality of life for sick kids in the short and long term.

Visit sydneychristmas.com.au for full event details.

Read more about Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation’s work - Research in action: Keeping kids mobile and their sight intact

For media enquiries contact Roxanne Macara. Phone 0438 554 640 or email rmacara@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Clover Moore AO, Lord Mayor of Sydney contact Zoe Delamare. Phone 0477 263 615 or email zdelamare@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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