Albany Town Hall decked in time for Christmas festival next week

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
City of Albany acting executive director community services Nathan Watson, Mayor Dennis Wellington and arts and culture manager Paul Nielsen inspect the Albany Town Hall renovations.
Camera IconCity of Albany acting executive director community services Nathan Watson, Mayor Dennis Wellington and arts and culture manager Paul Nielsen inspect the Albany Town Hall renovations. Credit: Sarah Makse

Just in time to deck the halls, the renovated Albany Town Hall will reopen to the public for next week’s Albany Christmas Festival.

One of the festival’s main attractions, the annual Artisan and Designer Gift Fair, will be back in the Town Hall from Thursday to Saturday next week.

The fair will mark the first time the hall has been in public use since renovations started.

Acting executive director of community services Nathan Watson said getting the annual fair back in the historic venue was a case of great timing.

“The Town Hall was always on track for completion by the end of 2020 and this aligned with the annual Artisan and Designer Gift Fair in December which is traditionally held in the Town Hall,” he said.

The official opening of the new-look Town Hall will not take place until April with the Great Southern Art Award.

As part of next week’s Christmas festival, there will be laneway activations along York Street, including a nativity play and a display by Menang weavers.

Local artists will create crotchet webs, upcycled chandeliers and more.

The annual Christmas pageant next Saturday will feature a static display, introduced as a COVID-19 precaution.

Mr Watson said the City traditionally saw crowds of about 8000 people during the festival, but those numbers could be down this year because of COVID-19.

“The Christmas festival will look different this year, with COVID-19 having an impact on events across WA but the Albany community are in a fortunate position that they can have an event even if it has a different spin on it,” he said.

“The City encourages all residents and visitors who are attending the festival to practise physical distancing and personal hygiene requirements, stay home if they are unwell and download the COVIDSafe app on their phones.”

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