CHARITY KEEPS LIGHTS ON AT CANDY CANE LANE
THE lights will stay on at Candy Cane Lane after a Gold Coast charity stepped in to save the popular Gold Coast Christmas attraction.
Forest Oak Dr in Upper Coomera attracts tens of thousands of sightseers to its display each year.
But as residents prepared for another festive season it was these numbers that threatened to jeopardise the tradition.
The spectacle has grown so large the Gold Coast Council was forced to implement a traffic management plan last year.
But this year the council pulled funding for road blocks and traffic officers, stating it was “unfair” to other areas.
The decision had residents scrambling for a solution, so they approached Bravehearts, a charity the display raises money for, for help.
Bravehearts have committed to helping Christmas-mad locals grow the attraction. with fundraising director Alison Geale saying the charity will provide traffic management and port-a-loos this year.
“We know it can get tough if you don’t have someone to help out,” she said.
Resident Rose Mammone said that without traffic management the area would be “chaos”.
“During December it can take a long time to get where you’re going,” she said. “They raise so much money for charity, it’s so worth it but there’s so many people – it's madness.
“Last year the council blocked off the street, allowing locals onlu passes, which made sure we could still get in and out.
“That needs to continue.”
Area councillor Donna Gates said it would be “unfair” for the council to keep funding traffic management.
“There are Christmas decorations right across the city and it would be unfair to continue to use ratepayer funds on one specific street,” she said.
“I do, however, hope they continue with the tradition.”
During the first days of December some diehard Christmas lights fans took to social media to share their disappointment that the whole street was not involved this year.
But long-time locals have guaranteed it’s just a slow start, vowing to share lights and install them for those who can’t afford the money or the time to decorate.
Lisa Corcoran, who set up her decorations late last month, said visitors had nothing to worry about when it came to seeing the massive displays.
“It’s all going to kick off this weekend, and then next week we will have food vendors, stalls and Bravehearts have a lot of volunteers coming as well,” she said.
“There are some residets who are going to be away this Christmas – we’ve been doing the big displays for five years, and they are visiting family.
“Others have just moved in, some are fixing things but we will all help each other.”