CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: The 2018 Lights of Christmas display at Rockhampton's St Joseph's Cathedral will explore The Night Before Christmas.
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: The 2018 Lights of Christmas display at Rockhampton's St Joseph's Cathedral will explore The Night Before Christmas. Matthew Standing

Unique exhibit combines 'age and beauty' of cathedral

AN ICONIC Christmas tale has been incorporated into this year's Lights of Christmas display at St Joseph's Cathedral in Rockhampton.

An award-winning spectacle, this year's exhibit will showcase the spirit of Christmas in all its glory with the theme The Night Before Christmas.

The Cathedral Parish of Rockhampton's Rob Alexander said the parish was proud to host the event once again on the beautiful Rockhampton landmark.

The committee's vision was to spread Christmas spirit into the community.

"This year, we stuck with our lighting experts Illuminart from last year and we decided what we wanted to do was get something more linked into Christmas,” Mr Alexander said.

And bigger crowds are expected to flock to the cathedral.

"We got over 20,000 people come along and have a look last year, there are a lot more people aware of it this year,” he said.

Mr Alexander said last year's award-winning exhibit spoke volumes about the amount of effort which was poured into it.

"We're fairly confident after winning the Australian Event Award last year, this show will be just a bit better,” he said.

"The company has been working on it for a bit longer this year.”

And the kids will be pleased as they can expect to see the big man himself, Santa Claus, appear in the display.

"While The Nutcracker was a beautiful show last year and had some lovely music, we definitely wanted to see Santa,” Mr Alexander said.

Mr Alexander agreed showcasing the display upon the grand St Joseph's Cathedral was unique across regional areas.

"I don't know of any places outside of capital cities which have such an elaborate Lights of Christmas display,” Mr Alexander said.

"Not every town has a building they can do this on, it's so great we can use the age and beauty of the cathedral built in the 1890s and combine it with 21st century technology to produce a show with such great wow factor.

"It's got to be said the Rockhampton business community and other community groups who really get behind the event and sponsor it make it all happen.”

While past bishops have instilled the message St Joseph's Cathedral belongs to the people, the display is sure to create a sense of belonging once again.

Mr Alexander hoped the worst of the weather would have passed in time for the display's debut on Monday night.

Weather permitting, you can catch the free exhibit from Monday through to Sunday, December 23 which will run at 7.30-10.30pm.

The Cathedral College students will voluntarily carry around buckets to collect funds for drought and bushfire appeals.

As principal of the college with 2019 enrolments at capacity, Mr Alexander said it was important to build community spirit.

"It's really important to build a school as a community and to have people feeling a sense of togetherness and pride and the Lights of Christmas serves as an opportunity,” he said.



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