First day of December, first day of summer and first Friday of the month. It can only mean one thing - the City of Armadale's Carols by Candlelight. And if you weren't in Memorial Park on the 1st of December, then it's with great sadness that I have to tell you that you missed a wonderful night that is always a highlight on our yearly calendar. Lucky for you, you can now read all about it! And if you were there, well now you get to relive the whole thing but from a whole new perspective. Winners all round!
The carols themselves started when the parade came to an end, bringing a special guest all the way from the North Pole (and considering it's his busiest time of year, he was pretty jolly). That's right - Santa! And what better way to welcome him than with a rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. After a bit of a chat with all the children, it was time to say good-bye and away he went to the opening strains of White Christmas which he will undoubtedly have. That's something you're pretty much guaranteed not to have here in Australia. Or is it . . .
To kick off the next bracket we belted out Winter Wonderland as the Roleystone Theatre Choir took the stage. They then entertained the masses (and I'm not joking when I say the masses - the whole place was swarming with people, which was fantastic. There definitely was a crowd and space was at a premium. It was kind of incredible to see) with Let it Snow and Silver Bells. It was during Let it Snow that something amazing happened - it began to snow! Impossible! you say. This is Australia. In December. It doesn't snow! Well let me tell you, it most certainly does if you have a snow machine. And it was very pretty, with little white flakes drifting through the air, lit up by the stage lights. And far better than any other offer or hint of a white Christmas that we'd had so far (All I'll say is that there was an incident involving the high hat on the kit and a bird. And white stuff. Take what you will from that).
It was then time to welcome the Classic Sounds Vocal Group to the stage where they got things rocking with Christmas, Baby Please Come Home, which included one showstopper of a solo from one of their younger members. To be able to get up and sing in front of a crowd like that with that amount of confidence really is something (safe to say all my solo vocal performances are saved for my cat. She generally leaves the room. She's always had paw manners). They then followed this up with Wonderful Christmastime, another lovely number.
The Roleystone Theatre Choir then came back on and together the groups sang through a few Christmas pop numbers including Santa Clause is Coming to Town, Silver Bells and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. It was then time for us to hog the stage with an instrumental, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.
While we were getting carried away with seizing our solo opportunity, the combined primary school choirs filed on stage. Together they worked their way through a few favourites - Little Drummer Boy, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (because who doesn't?), I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus (a song that confused me as a child and I always thought about her poor husband. Not to mention the age gap of a couple of hundred years. Now, I get it) and The Chipmunk Song (and yes, kazoos were involved).
It was then time for the final bracket which we opened with Sleigh Ride as the Roleystone Theatre Choir and Classic Sounds Vocal Group joined the rest of us on stage. It was time for the community singing and everyone was here to help lead it. In what felt like no time at all we flew through Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (complete with actions), Silent Night, Away in a Manger, Deck the Halls, Joy to the World and finally, We Wish You a Merry Christmas (because it is a truth universally acknowledged, that the only way to finish carolling is with that song).
Yet things hadn't come to an end just yet. While everyone else was packing up and heading for the exits (which are extremely easy access when you're already outdoors), we had one last Christmas favourite to play through. And given Maestro's love of 80s pop (which is not inexplicable. She was there! I, on the other hand, totally missed it. But only by this much) there was one clear choice. Last Christmas.
There we go. All done and dusted for another ye - not quite. To quote all great infomercials: 'But wait! There's more!' (NB: But I'm spruiking something way more awesome than a power steam cleaner that can clean all surfaces and stains in seconds, no scrubbing. Or one ladder that can turn into twenty-four different configurations. Okay. Fine. Something equally awesome). Normally this is the point where we'd wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year and then dash off to spend the next month or so lazing by the pool, tropical drink in hand (oh, if only!). Instead, we've still got one more gig in 2017 (whoop! whoop!). Another Christmas one (of course), this time in conjunction with the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale. This will be in Byford on Friday 15th December. It looks like they've got a whole lot going on for the whole family so definitely another wonderful event. Full details can be found on their website.
Until then, the weather outside might be frightful but the aircon is so delightful. And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! (And by that I mean a shower of pollen that gets everywhere. Just as pretty as snow but far less inconvenient. Unless you were hoping for a snow day)