Little and big people, dressed in full Santa suits, are running around the Waterfront. It’s a sweltering 33 degrees with 79% humidity and they’ve just had a Zumba warm up to rev up the atmosphere!
They run, they walk and they stroll. Along Kitchener Drive and back along the sea wall where slightly bleary red bodies reflect in the water. I’m having my first coffee of the day at Il Lido but now and again I jump up to catch the action on camera. Beads of sweat drip down my cheeks and I seriously wonder how so many people can take on the challenge of dressing up. But of course, this is Darwin. We are up for doing all sorts of fun and ridiculous things, and we love contributing and making a difference to people who are less fortunate. The event is run by Variety the children’s charity, and is an inspiring and fun way to raise funds for sick and disadvantaged children.
Now it’s late afternoon. The storm clouds are gathering and we’ve already had phone calls from friends bailing out of Carols by Candlelight. Not us though. We head down to the Botanic Gardens for a fabulous, free and fun night.
As the sun’s shadows lengthen, the band bursts into tune, everyone jostles for a view. Candles are lit, books of carols are handed out. There’s Santa cavorting backwards and forwards across the stage dressed in full northern hemisphere regalia. The music and the cacophony of voices bounce around the trees.
I just love this night of carols. I feel like a 5 year old, waving around my candle, giggling and raucously “ho ho ho-ing”. I dive in and sing way out of tune. It’s just extraordinary how I remember the words from when I was a kid. The fireworks finale is a blast of colour, of shooting stars, of raining glitter. The noise is ferocious and it’s better than any New Year’s Eve display.
And no rain.