FESTIVE AFFAIR: Hundreds light up the night with carols
EVER since she was a kid Ruth Hooper can always remember taking part in the Heritage City's Christmas carols.
Whether she was organising the Santa Fair as Apex's president or just enjoying the sights and sounds, she's always had time for a rendition of Silent Night.
The Maryborough mother and former Apex president, 38, was one of hundreds who took to Queens Park yesterday for this year's Carols in the Park.
The long-standing tradition features the Apex Santa Fair, Twilight Christmas Markets and annual Christmas Carols in one night.
Young children and the elderly alike were treated to a fireworks display after the carols finished late into the evening.
Ms Hooper can still remember the days when she could stroll down Adelaide St and hear the iconic songs filling the night sky.
In those days, she used to enjoy riding the old merry-go-round and watching the ham spins.
And with Ms Hooper taking her children to the event throughout the past few years, history has come full-circle.
"Back in 2010, when my oldest daughter was quite little, we started going back again and keeping the tradition alive," Ms Hooper said.
"That first year I went back I ended up getting involved with Apex and helped organise subsequent Santa Fairs over the years.
"It's a lovely family event for the Fraser Coast."
But the one thing that's never changed over the years? The Christmas spirit.
"The community attitude has changed a bit but this is the one thing that keeps the Christmas spirit in town going," Ms Hooper said.
"Families like that they can go in the afternoon and stay for the carols at night."
Ms Hooper said people attending the event were helping support the local community by giving back to groups like Apex and Lions.
"It means people can start the festive season without too much money and come away with a prize," she said.