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A VERY NEWY CHRISTMAS! Newcastle is bursting at the seams with festive cheer!

There’s no denying that with the spectre of COVID still looming, Christmas is going to look a little different this year.

But that hasn’t stopped City of Newcastle (CoN) getting well and truly into the festive spirit.

Newcastle has come alive with abundant Yuletide cheer thanks to a jolly line-up of family-friendly activities that are sure to melt the heart of even the most cynical Grinch.

The centrepiece of this Very Newy Christmas is, of course, the massive 11-metre Christmas tree, taking pride of place on Market Street Lawn that was officially lit by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes this week to herald the start of festivities.

If 11-metres of towering Christmas awesomeness wasn’t enough for you hard-core Christmasphiles, what about getting lost amongst a whole bunch of them?

Well, CoN has brought in no less than 120 – yep one hundred and twenty – full-sized Christmas trees to create a pop-up maze that will take pride of place in Civic Park until Friday 12 December The maze is open from 7am to 7pm and entry is free for the whole family.

Looking to snap a timeless Santa pic but with a decidedly Novocastrian bent? Well, you’re in luck because Hunter Street Mall and Darby Street will both be hosting free, beach-themed Santa photo sessions.

Santa will be in posing mode at 143 Darby Street from Thursday 10 December to Tuesday 14 December and at 145 Hunter Street from Thursday 17 to Tuesday 22 December between the hours of 9am and 5pm weekdays, and 9am and 1pm Saturdays.

There’s also going to be a raft of Christmassy blockbusters hitting the big screen at the Civic Theatre, while the Visitor Information Centre will be stocking all manner of goodies from our deep pool of talented local makers and traders.

“Without a doubt, 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Our City’s Christmas tree and A Very Newy Christmas programming is about spreading the joy of Christmas amongst families, whilst welcoming visitors back into the City Centre,” Cr Nelmes said.

“There is no better time than the lead-up to Christmas to shop locally and support Newcastle businesses impacted by COVID-19. Come and join in the spirit of Christmas by heading into our City Centre this festive season.”

Head here for more info on the full Christmas programme.