COMMUNITY groups will join festive forces to return Colac’s traditional carols by candlelight to Memorial Square this year.
Colac City Band president and manager Andrew Currie said band members were “very excited” about the 65th annual carols by candlelight returning to the square on December 16 after three years at indoor venues.
“We haven’t regretted having the carols elsewhere but everyone is ecstatic to have the carols back in their rightful place,” Mr Currie said.
“The move away from the Memorial Square was logistics.
“Colac City Band members are on the other side of youth and they were starting at 8am in the morning to set the stage up and finishing after midnight,” he said.
“People just couldn’t do it any longer and there was the demise of the Spirit of Christmas so we decided to move them away from the square.”
Colac City Band’s Carols by Candlelight moved to the Colac RSL in 2008 and spent two years at Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre, with Colac Community Hub hosting a separate carols event at Memorial Square last year.
Mr Currie said the community wanted the carols at the square and the band investigated the chances of joining forces with Colac Community Hub.
“The carols by candlelight were instigated by our bandleader and they are something we hold very near and dear to us but they had just proved too much for us on our own after 61 years,” he said.
“In hindsight, if we’d put our hand out for a bit more support we might not have had to move.
“But now we’ve formed great associations with other community groups and it’s going to be exciting.”
Colac Community Hub vice president Caz Phillips said the city band had “done an amazing job” for more than six decades.
“Unfortunately, like any community group, age became an issue and we’re really proud of the association we’ve formed with the band,” Ms Phillips said.
She said the hub team organised carols at Memorial Square last year after community calls for a return to the traditional site but members were “happy to be helping” the band this year.
“We’ve been to band practice, had lots of fun and laughs; it’s been fantastic.
“That’s one of the core beliefs at the hub; that we foster those community relationships and we’re pleased the band has been an integral part of our planning for the carols,” Ms Phillips said.
“The city band is our showpiece, our jewel in the crown.”