What an Xtravaganza
The festive spirit was on full show on Saturday night when hundreds turned out for the Finley Xmas Xtravaganza.
From the start kids converged on Railway Park where at the rear sideshows like a jumping castle and rides kept them entertained until dark.
Local performers from across the Southern Riverina donated their time to sing to the masses including Ray McCartney, Nathan Haley, Andy Anderson, Sarah Orro, Kathleen Harris and Margaret Graham plus a choir of Finley school children.
Santa was the popular attraction when he arrived in a fire truck. At the time of his arrival children were singing with Nathan Haley on stage, but quickly bolted towards Santa on the other side of the park.
There was also an unexpected visitor from Gotham City, with Batman also handing out lollies to the kids.
Finley Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture president Gary Carr said it was one of the best Xtravaganza events in recent memory.
‘‘What a fantastic way to wind down the year and celebrate Christmas. We had a really talented line up of singers who all did a great job,’’ he said.
‘‘The sideshow was very popular with the kids, and no doubt a relief for the parents who sat back on the grass enjoying some local cuisine and a much needed drink.
‘‘To see dozens of kids running towards Santa and Batman was special and a real joy to see how happy they were.
‘‘It’s hard to count exact numbers because people come and go but at a glance, at its peak, the crowd was a lot bigger than last year.
‘‘I want to thank all of those who helped set up, pack up and help behind the scenes, particularly the Finley High School Timor Leste Immersion Program members. Without everyone’s help the night wouldn’t run so smoothly.’’
A much anticipated part of the evening was the announcement of the Christmas lights award winners.
Peter and Mason Maraldo and Paula Christie made it back-to-back wins in the overall section, with Phillip and Jenny Thompson second and Kirsty and Troy Marshall third.
Helen Clarke and family was awarded best farm gate, Ray and Kay Semmens won the Chrissy Wastle memorial trophy, the Cleeve family was voted people’s choice and Con Carr Betta Living was best business.
Judd, Matt and Addison Clarke.
Brett, Bodi, Lauren and Mikayla Crompton.
Kathleen Harris and Margaret Graham.
Jacob and Jordon Whittaker.
Jackson and Jim Cleve.
Ruby Beaver and Tiara Cowan.
Zoe, Gayle and Roger Reynoldson.
Peter and Jill Orro.
Jacinta and Michael Tooke.
Jess and Mitch Pyle.
Bailey and James Kennedy.