A BEAUTIFUL evening, great line up of artists, spacious venue and a crowd full of the spirit of Christmas combined to create a wonderful Bermagui Carols by Candlelight event on Saturday.
The traditional Bermagui Carols by Candlelight was revamped this year to reinvigorate community interest in the event and from all accounts it was a huge success.
The Four Winds outdoor amphitheatre stage at Barragga Bay set the scene for a musical Christmas celebration, with a program focused on providing children with a magical experience.
Santa was there of course and, as expected, was a magnet for the 180 children, as was the grassed area at the rear of the sound shell that provided plenty of space for the children to run and play.
About 600 people attended the festivities, double the number organisers anticipated.
The crowd consisted of general community members - some who had never been to the Four Winds amphitheatre before - to those who had travelled from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.
Among those in attendance was the founder of Four Winds, Neilma Gantner, and Murray and Margaret Douch, well-known local musicians who have been a part of the Bermagui Carols by Candlelight for 40 years.
This year, Mr Douch was to participate again on stage, but a tick bite prevented him from joining in for the first time in two decades.
There were over 60 voices on stage supported by a six-piece band of brilliant professional musicians all returning home for Christmas - including Kade Brown, David Hewitt, Robyn Martin, Matt Dixon, Kate Burke and Pete Wild - plus guest appearances from brass players led by Helen Gill and soloist Marie Louise Le Brun, a local musician/composer/actor hailing from Mollymook.
The line-up also included the Bega St Choir, That Bunch of Singers, HeartSong, Bega Valley Children’s Choir and students from Bermagui Primary, Bermagui Preschool, Little Lambs Preschool, Little Yuin Preschool and Cobargo Preschool.
What was unique about this event was that artists were paid for their performance, a philosophy Four Winds believes in and promotes.
The event was supported by the Bermagui Chamber of Commerce, Bermagui Preschool, Bermagui Primary, Little Lambs Preschool, Little Yuin Preschool, Cobargo Preschool, Anglican Church Bermagui, South East Arts, Bega Valley Shire Council and Mister Jones.
Four Winds especially thanked musical director David Hewitt and creative producer Liena Lacey.