CBD set for Christmas rush
THERE was a time when the streets of Maryborough's CBD were draped with Christmas decorations.
Earles Paints owner Melissa White remembers it well and is among the businesses trying to keep the magic alive.
"They used to decorate the streets and the poles had Christmas-themed flags on them - it made it feel more festive," Melissa said.
"We had light displays in our windows years ago, nothing as spectacular as what they have down the streets now - but we did win an award one year."
Mrs White said she remembered the Santa Fair at McDowells Car Park and the Lighting of the Christmas Tree and the ham spins at the pubs in the back car parks.
"Maryborough always had a buzz from September onwards with the Spring Festival and the floats going through the streets," she said.
"We would have flowers all over the windows and then it would be time to decorate for the festive season.
"Everybody would get together and you would find someone you knew and even if you didn't you would find someone willing to have a yap - it was really community-based."
The paint shop owner said they unfortunately don't get busy over Christmas.
"We get busy leading up to Christmas with people wanting to get their houses sorted and looking as nice as possible for the relies coming up.
"It was a different era years ago... we would sell a lot of paint to people who were on holidays and fixing up their homes.
"People are buying presents now, not necessarily paints - our business will pick up again after Christmas."
Myatt Jewellers owner Rebecca Myatt said even though things seemed a little slow right now, she was prepared for the usual rush.
"Christmas is really November/December," she said.
"Our shoppers have been planning ahead and ordered Christmas gifts last month.
"The rush hasn't started yet - it usually starts about two weeks before Christmas."
Mrs Myatt said she was worried rates might effect trade but "they did get a lot of notice and they knew Christmas was coming".
Hoping to attract more people into the CBD is a group of CraftFest site holders who will open a pop-up shop.
CraftFest is Maryborough's biggest annual craft expo.
From Monday, Mary Marketeers Pop Up Shop will open selling everything from pottery, plants, sewing, jewellery and paper flowers.
Craftfest organiser Lesley Mason said the group really loved Maryborough so they decided to rent a shop.
She said people were stopping to read their signs in the windows.
"People are interested in seeing the city centre come alive again."