The extreme wet weather and resulting condition of the ground at Jells Park has forced the cancellation of this year’s Monash Carols by Candlelight.
In consultation with Parks Victoria, who manage Jells Park, the difficult decision has been made that it is not safe for the park to be used for the Christmas event this year.
We had hoped the ground would dry out for the event but the sustained wet weather, with even more heavy rain expected over the coming weeks, has left the ground muddy and sodden such that it is not possible for any significant infrastructure, staging, or overflow parking to be safely provided at the site. And in the event of an emergency, it would be very difficult for emergency services to access the site.
All these factors have forced this decision to cancel the event.
Quotes attributable to Monash Mayor, Councillor Tina Samardzija
Monash Mayor Cr Tina Samardzija said she was disappointed that carols would not be delivered as expected and encouraged the community to participate in the alternative program.
“This was to be my first carols as Mayor and I was really looking forward to attending as I usually do with my family. But unfortunately the recent weather and conditions at Jells Park have meant it is unsafe for the event to go ahead as planned,” said Cr Samardzija.
“I’m out at Jells Park almost every day. I can see that it is extremely wet and muddy. There are large sections you can’t even walk on, and more wet weather is on its way. The safety of our community is our priority.
“Our carols bring over 20,000 people from across Melbourne, and we have not been able to find an alternative venue in Monash to host such a big crowd at short notice. We’re incredibly disappointed, both for our community but also our Council staff who have worked hard to plan this event.
“Celebrating Christmas is important in Monash and we’ve worked hard to develop a 12 Days of Christmas program to spread joy across our suburbs with something for everyone.
“Fireworks are a big part of our usual carols program, so we’re hoping to light up the sky, weather permitting, across Monash so that people can enjoy seeing them from their homes.
“And we also have our beautiful Monash Council Christmas Tree at Eaton Mall in Oakleigh for all to enjoy.
“I hope to see lots of people right across Monash at these celebrations,” added Cr Samardzija.
What’s happening instead?
Christmas will be celebrated right across Monash with alternative celebrations, including a 12 days of Christmas program and fireworks (weather permitting).
12 Days of Christmas program:
- Tuesday 13 December: Roller skaters at Poath Road Parklet, Hughesdale 3-6pm
- Wednesday 14 December: Circus tricks at Winbourne Road Parklet, Mount Waverley 3-6pm
- Thursday 15 December: Tap dancing duo at Huntingdale Shopping Centre 3-6pm
- Friday 16 December: Stilt walkers at Kingsway, Glen Waverley 3-6pm
- Saturday 17 December: Lollies, bubbles and roller skaters at Eaton Mall, Oakleigh 10am-1pm
- Sunday 18 December: Roller skaters and circus tricks at Haughton Road, Clayton 10am-1pm
- Monday 19 December: Roller skaters at Pinewood Shopping Village, Mount Waverley 3-6pm
- Tuesday 20 December: Adagio elves at Poath Road Parklet, Hughesdale 3-6pm
- Wednesday 21 December: Circus tricks at Winbourne Road Parklet, Mount Waverley 3-6pm
- Thursday 22 December: Tap dancing duo at Huntingdale Shopping Centre 3-6pm
- Friday 23 December: Adagio elves and stilt walkers at Clayton Community Centre Parklet, Corner Main and Clayton Roads, Clayton 3-6pm
- Saturday 24 December: Lollies, bubbles and roller skaters at Brandon Park Drive Parklet, Mulgrave (near Brandon Park Reserve) 10am-1pm
At 9.30pm on Sunday 4 December, fireworks will be launched from Central Reserve in Glen Waverley and DH Nicholls Reserve at Warrawee Park in Oakleigh.
These locations have been chosen so the eight-minute fireworks display can be seen across Monash. Importantly, these are not locations designed to handle big crowds and have limited car parking nearby. For safety reasons, watch the fireworks from your home or local area rather than congregating at, or immediately near, the launching sites.
Christmas Tree at Eaton Mall, Oakleigh
You can also come for a photo at our Monash Council Christmas Tree in Eaton Mall, Oakleigh right up until Christmas.
Why no alternative carols venue?
Council staff have investigated alternative options without success. The size and scale of the event, with more than 20,000 attendees, means there are no other locations in the City of Monash that can cater for these numbers.