Thousands expected for Rocky cathedral's festive spectacular
ROB Alexander and his family were among thousands of people immersed in the wonder of the Christmas lights spectacle in Brisbane several years ago.
The delight on the faces of his young children was unforgettable and it was this fond memory that prompted him to action early this year.
"I thought we could do that in Rockhampton," Mr Alexander said.
He approached the St Joseph's Catholic parish executive and the wheels started turning on bringing a similar event to the city.
Just as Brisbane had the City Hall, Rockhampton had the ideal canvas for the light projection show - the stately St Joseph's Cathedral which stands proudly on the grounds of The Cathedral College where Mr Alexander is principal.
With support from the parish and the broader community, the Lights of Christmas was born and will be delivered nightly from December 17 to 23.
"We will be using the William St facade of the cathedral for a light spectacular that has not been seen before in Rockhampton," a delighted Mr Alexander said.
"We have one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the country and we really wanted to make it a focal part of Christmas.
"We as a parish and the Catholic diocese of Rockhampton were looking to put back into the community and we believe this is going to create a great festive spirit in the city."
The free 20-minute show features two parts - the first an eight-minute animation from the perennial Christmas favourite, The Nutcracker, and the second 14 Christmas-themed slides that fill every corner of the magnificent cathedral.
The parish engaged Illuminart to deliver the production and Mr Alexander is thrilled with what it is set to deliver.
Eight shows will be rolled out each night, starting from 7.30pm. William St will be closed and while there will be limited seating available, people are encouraged to bring chairs.
Mr Alexander said the production would appeal to people of all ages, and he's expecting 3000 to 4000 people each night.
"We're very impressed with what Illuminart has produced. They had to scope out the front of the cathedral because it is made to exactly fit its shape.
"It's incredible just how intricate the procedure is. Our show could not be projected onto any other building because it is designed specifically for the cathedral."
Mr Alexander paid tribute to the work of TCC's IT manager Aaron Nunn, who had "done the hard yards" as the middle man between the parish and Illuminart.
He said Bishop Michael McCarthy had been a wonderful support, as had Rockhampton Regional Council, businesses such as Tony Madden Architects and Swanwick Murray Roche Lawyers, the Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton, TCC and the Emmaus College.
"It's come at a significant investment but the community and businesses have made it possible.
"We just want to bring some goodwill to the city and lift people's spirits at Christmas."
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Lights of Christmas
WHERE: St Joseph's Cathedral, Rockhampton
WHEN: Nightly from December 17 to 23