There may not be snow at this Christmas in July celebration but there will certainly be warm toasty fires, plenty of camaraderie and hundreds of motorhomes as grey nomads from across Australia and internationally make their annual pilgrimage north for the popular festivities.
The event, which is hosted by the Far North Nomads Chapter of the Campervan and Motorhome Club (CMCA) of Australia and supported by Mareeba Shire Council, is in its 19th year and offers visitors a variety of fun and interesting events.
Tropical Tablelands Tourism chair Michael Trout said Christmas in July had grown to become one of Queensland’s largest motorhome and lifestyle events attracting more than 250 motorhomes, camper vans and caravans over the four days from Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, July 31.
“There is no such thing as a true white Christmas on our side of the world, but while we are missing the snow, the Far North Nomads Chapter of the CMCA will be serving up good old fashioned Christmas hospitality with all the trappings.”
Held in Davies Park, there will be entertainment, raffles, and special events as well as live music from local bands, Now or Never, Kick Start and Dave Kirk.
On Saturday, there will be a Christmas in July dinner, catered by the Mareeba Leagues Club, followed by an open day on Sunday from 9am to 3pm, where many of the motorhome owners literally open the doors of their vehicles to share what the nomadic life is all about.
There will also be displays, markets, family entertainment including jumping castle and faceprinting and more. Entry is by gold coin donation, which will be divided between the Mareeba SES and the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal.
“Christmas in July offers a welcome boost for many businesses and tourism attractions and typically marks the start of peak season for operators on the Atherton Tablelands.
“What we have noticed is that most people don’t just come for the four days, many opt to stay in region for several weeks with other key events such as the show and rodeo also taking place in July.”
Christmas in July coordinator Milly Virtue said every year the event continued to grow and this year promised to be no different.
“Last year was the first year we had caravans take part and as word has continued to spread, we are expecting a big contingent this year.
“It is such a great event – everybody gets together, with some people only seeing each other once every 12 months. We know there are rallies across Australia, but many just choose ours to attend.
“The Atherton Tablelands is a diverse region with lots of things to see and do, as well as offering great weather with very mild winters, which is why people love retuning again and again.”
The event is open to CMCA members only with the exception of the public open day on the Sunday. For more information on Christmas in July visit Mareeba Shire Council’s website http://msc.qld.gov.au/events/