From the Newsroom

Ulmarra welcomed a large number of visitors during a special Christmas evening on December 18. Image: Emma Pritchard

Christmas and community spirit soars in Ulmarra

Emma Pritchard

The streets of Ulmarra were filled with seasonal festivities, joviality and plenty of community spirit over the weekend when the riverside village hosted a special Christmas evening on December 18.

Following a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions only days prior, families and friends chatted happily and embraced the opportunity to socialise freely as local businesses stayed open until 8pm, cheerfully greeting late-night shoppers and welcoming an additional boost to their sales during one of the busiest times of the year.

President of the Ulmarra Village Inc Steve Pickering said he was exceptionally proud of the evenings success and commented on how nice it was to see everyone “come out and support the local community.”

Mr Pickering, who also owns the Coldstream Gallery in Ulmarra, said local business owners were thrilled to be involved with the event and he estimated upwards of 500 people attended throughout the evening.

“There weren’t just people from Ulmarra, there were people from across the Clarence Valley and further afield, and it was really great to see so many happy kids and happy parents, and the smiles on people faces, and the conversations and catchups that were happening everywhere, it really was wonderful,” he said.

“It was amazing to see the whole community come together to help make the event what it was and we’re all so thankful for the support we received.

“Everyone had a great time and there are plans already afoot to have the event again next year.”

As local Morris Dancers entertained the crowd, children indulged in ice creams and sweets as their parents browsed nearby boutiques and holiday makers took in the magic of Ulmarra.

Joan Stringer from Nambucca Heads had been visiting the Clarence Valley on a day trip and delayed her journey home to attend the Christmas evening in Ulmarra.

“As a regular traveller, I adore visiting small communities and being able to attend the special Christmas evening with the late-night shopping, it was marvellous,” she said.

“The shopkeepers were very welcoming and happy to chat, and I do hope Ulmarra has this event on again next year because I’ll certainly come back.”

And Ms Stringer won’t be the only visitor returning in 2022.

After making a special guest appearance over the weekend to spread some Christmas cheer, Santa had so much fun in Ulmarra, his hard-working elves at the North Pole confirmed he will be happy to attend the event again next year.

“It was great that Santa could join us,” Mr Pickering said, adding there could be another well-loved visitor hopping into town for a special Easter event in April.

The Clarence Valley Independent will be in contact with the Easter Bunny in the new year to confirm his upcoming visit to Ulmarra.

9-month-old Leo and his mum Molly had a special meeting with Santa in Ulmarra on the weekend. Image: Emma Pritchard