Joy of Christ­mas is just around the cor­ner THE DE­TAILS:

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By TERESA HATTAN

Mata­mata’s bi­en­nial Mid Win­ter Christ­mas Fes­ti­val will bring joy next month.

The pop­u­lar event on Meura St from July 2- 4 is a fundraiser for Pohlen Hos­pi­tal and child can­cer.

A large group of lo­cals are get­ting in­volved, cre­at­ing Christ­mas-themed courts that will adorn the venue.

The av­er­age court size is 3m x 3m. Each has a theme cho­sen by the cre­ator, which fits with the fes­ti­val. There will also be more than 40 dec­o­rated Christ­mas trees, schools and com­mu­nity groups will pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment, art, a cafe with com­mu­nity bak­ing and a Christ­mas shop.

Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Jill Sanson-Emer­ton and court co-or­di­na­tor Rose Varty are just two of a num­ber of com­mit­tee mem­bers in­volved in bring­ing the spirit of Christ­mas to Mata­mata.

The two women were brought in ‘‘at the last minute’’ for the 2013 event and through their love of cre­ativ­ity cre­ated courts and trees.

This time they have lead­er­ship roles on the com­mit­tee.

‘‘Rais­ing funds for Pohlen and child can­cer is quite im­por­tant to our com­mit­tee,’’ Jill said.

Rose be­lieves get­ting in­volved in the fes­ti­val is the least she can do know­ing the strug­gle some fam­i­lies go through with a child bat­tling can­cer.

‘‘It’s such a plea­sure to be able to do some­thing like this.’’

Or­gan­is­ers this year hope to cre­ate greater aware­ness for Pohlen Hos­pi­tal and child can­cer.

In the lead up to this year’s fes­ti­val, Rose’s home, along with many oth­ers, has been filled with Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions, scenes and all things fes­tive.

‘‘This fes­ti­val, in the mid­dle

Mata­mata’s Mid Win­ter Christ­mas Fes­ti­val

11 Meura St, Mata­mata

10am till 6pm July 2-3 and 10am till 3pm July 4

Adults $5, chil­dren gold coin Pro­ceeds to Pohlen Hos­pi­tal and child can­cer

of win­ter, is an ideal time to brighten peo­ple’s spir­its. The com­mu­nity spirit that de­vel­ops over this fes­ti­val is very spe­cial,’’ Rose said.

She said she gets a real buzz from be­ing able to make some­thing out of noth­ing.

Most of her dec­o­ra­tions have been hand-made from re­cy­clables, col­lected from the rub­bish bin, op shops and the tip shop.

For in­stance, a nutcracker tree has been dec­o­rated with or­na­ments made from toi­let pa­per rolls.

‘‘ That’s part of the idea, be­ing able to turn some­body’s junk into some­body else’s trea­sure.’’

‘‘We don’t have a big bud­get at all and that’s what we’ve done, cre­ated some­thing spe­cial out of noth­ing re­ally.’’ She said it’s great to see peo­ple leave the fes­ti­val with in­spi­ra­tion.

‘‘ It’s about us­ing your imag­i­na­tion. If you can dream it, you can do it.’’

Jill said it was also a de­light to see peo­ple’s faces light up with joy when they ex­pe­ri­ence the Mid Win­ter Christ­mas Fes­ti­val.

‘‘ When you see that you think all those hours are worth it, just to see peo­ple happy.’’

The fes­ti­val was also about bring­ing Mata­mata’s cre­ative com­mu­nity to­gether to show­case their tal­ents in a very spe­cial way.

‘‘It’s re­ally all about pulling a com­mu­nity to­gether for a com­mon cause,’’ Rose said.

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