Christmas for you

THE BIGGEST Christmas lights trail ever seen in Perth is one of the highlights of this year’s festive celebrations.

The 2019 trail features 27 dazzling installations along two routes in Northbridge and the CBD. There’s also a Lotterywest trail and a new mini trail in East Perth.

After you’ve enjoyed the enchanting lights make sure you check out the gingerbread house at Perth Cultural Centre, the hot air balloon in Stirling Gardens and the musical lights tunnel in Yagan Square.

Roving performers including stilt walkers and musicians will keep late-night shoppers entertained on Friday and Saturday nights in the Hay and Murray Street Malls, Perth Cultural Centre, Forrest Chase, Raine Square and Kings Square.

If you’re doing your Christmas shopping during the day, you can take advantage of bag-minding and gift-wrapping services, free comfy chairs and entertainment at the Summer Backyard in Forrest Place.

Parking is always stressful around Christmas, but there’s free three-hour parking on weekends and public holidays at selected CPP carparks at Pier Street, Murray Street and Perth Cultural Centre, and on some streets. For more details go to cityofperthparking.com.au

And it wouldn’t be Christmas without the WA symphony orchestra’s free Christmas concert at Langley Park today (December 14). See over the page for more details.

The concert starts at 7pm and is a family favourite, featuring singalong carols and WASO performing classics from ballet, opera and the big screen.

Perth council commissioner Andrew Hammond says there’s something for everyone in the city this Christmas.

“With brightly lit streets, boundless entertainment and unique shopping and dining experiences, you’ll find all you want for Christmas in the city,” he says.

Christmas in the city runs until Boxing Day.

For more details go to visitperth.com.au

Resilience through challenge

A PERFORMANCE that started out as a somewhat melancholy take on isolation has turned out to be a heartwarming Christmas tale of resilience and friendship.

Breaking Ice – SOS Seniors on Stage is being staged at the Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall on Sunday December 22, but has been developed at the Cockburn Seniors Centre in Spearwood.

It was the brainchild of Helene Fisher and director Ralf Rauker who thought of framing seniors’ stories for the stage.

“The idea was that around Christmas there are a lot of seniors that maybe don’t have a lot of family nearby, and people can be left feeling a little isolated,” Ms Fisher said.

So she and Mr Ruaker invited others to join in workshops to develop the play around their own stories of how they dealt with these issues.

Ms Fisher said as people joined in and told their stories, it began to give them more confidence and helped them to start engaging more with the community.

“We were discovering acting skills and at the same time really discovering stories about each other that don’t show up in everyday life.

“Some of the stories have been really touching, or funny, or completely unexpected.”

In one scene recent Cockburn council candidate Tarun Dewan describes his difficult decision to relocate his family from India to Australia, and the differences in how each culture celebrates Christmas.

“Another person has a story about arriving in Australia as a migrant and seeing the trees and dry sand around him, and feeling very lonely without his family, but deciding he is not going to let depression get him,” Ms Fisher said.

While the actors are all seniors, she believes young people could learn valuable lessons from their stories.

“We all have pain in our life, and we have learned to deal with the challenges in a way that has made us stronger.”

Breaking Ice is on Sunday December 22 at the Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall, 435 Carrington Street. Tickets are $15 and $10 conc from http://www.trybooking.com/583904 or by contacting Ms Fisher on 0429 110 595.

Free festive concert

THE WA Symphony Orchestra’s free Christmas concert returns to Langley Park tonight (Saturday December 14) after 30,000 people attended last year’s debut show.

Led by conductor Guy Noble and soprano Emma Pettemerides, Christmas Symphony will feature Christmas classics from ballet, opera and the big screen.

Families can sing-along to Jingle Bells while also enjoying classical favourites like Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular 1812 Overture, with spectacular fireworks. The magical evening features more than 150 performers and special guests, including the one and only Santa. Picnicking starts at 5pm and the show is on at 7pm.

Xmas concert program

Welcome to Country:

Olman Walley

Guildford Grammar School Dookoorniny

The Holly and the Ivy, orchestral score by Malcolm Arnold

O Come, All Ye Faithful, arr. David Wilcocks

The Snow Maiden: Dance of the Tumblers, Rimsky-Korsakov

The First Noel, arr. David Wilcocks

Somewhere in My Memory

from Home Alone, John Williams

The Nutcracker: March + Trepak, Tchaikovsky

Porgy & Bess: Summertime, Gershwin

Sleigh Ride, arr. David Wilcocks

Jingle Bells,  arr. David Wilcocks

Hark! the Herald-Angels Sing

Symphony No.9 Choral: 4th movement, Beethover

Joy to the World, arr. John Nutter

1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky

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