Christmas tree in Brisbane

Brisbane’s inner-city Christmas tree. Courtesy: Courier Mail

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas, with a giant tree in the city and colourful lights and music blaring from many homes as many “Clark Griswolds” lift their game with impressive synchronised Christmas decorations.

Brady Gray, 34, of North Ipswich, said not only did he and his wife, Bec, 33, enjoy entertaining people who came to see their house pumping out music, colourful lights and even visions of Santa Claus, it had brought neighbours together.

Now in their seventh year and second neighbourhood of decking out their house in digital pixel lights, Mr Gray said most of their neighbours bring a drink down every weekend, sit and enjoy the lights while getting to know other neighbours.

“It happened in our last street in Brassall too,” he said.

“It sort of broke the ice for a lot of people.

“It definitely gets the neighbours talking for sure.”

Mr Gray, an NBN fibre technician, started setting up the 40,000 lights and the handmade 7.5m Christmas tree in late September.

He adds something every year, with this year being shooting stars on the roof of the house.

“Bec comes up with the ideas and tells me I have to fulfil those things,” he said.

“She told me this year I had to go higher. There was no room to go anywhere else, so I added things above the roof.”

The mash-up of Christmas and pop music, interspersed with talking from some famous Christmas movies, is all run by computer.

But it took Mr Gray a total of 40 hours in front of the computer to set up the sequence he was happy with for this year.

Mr Gray said after a rough 2017, where he had a heart attack, his wife found out she had cancer, and an elderly neighbour passed away, they nearly did not decorate.

The Grays’ home is one of many entered in different local annual Christmas light competitions around the region.

In Ipswich, the River 94.9 Christmas light competition winners are announced on December 16.

The overall winner of Brisbane’s annual 4KQ Christmas Lights competition in the Brisbane areas was St Gerard Majella Catholic Church, 146 Maundrel Terrace, West Chermside.

The full list of winners can be found at

Christmas lights bus tours can be booked now, with different bus lines participating in different areas.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk recently announced the city’s annual Christmas in Brisbane festival, comprising free activities and entertainment.

Almost 700,000 visitors attended events staged across the CBD, South Bank and Roma Street Parkland in 2016, with more anticipated to enjoy them this year.

The popular Christmas parade through the City is scheduled to run nightly from the Edward St end of the Queen Street Mall through to King George Square from December 15 to 24.

The parade will include Santa, performers, a nativity scene, music and more.

During the week before Christmas, a Christmas Village, complete with gift markets in the Arbour, will be built in South Bank.

There will also be opportunities to see Santa, enjoy nightly Christmas carols at River Quay and bring togs to enjoy dive-in Christmas movies on Streets Beach.

A Christmas Fireworks Spectacular will occur nightly from December 20 to 23 at South Bank, set a Christmas carols soundtrack.

There are plenty of other activities to see and do throughout the south eastern region, from free movies in the park at Roma Street Parkland, to Santa’s Kingdom at the Logan Hyperdome, where kids can decorate Gingerbread men, write and post a letter to Santa and much more.
In Redlands, their largest free community event, Christmas by Starlight, kicks off from 3pm on December 16 at Norm Price Park, Bloomfield St, Redland Showgrounds. (Public transport info here.)

The mayor’s address and lighting of the Redlands Christmas tree is scheduled for 7.15pm.

The night will include free children’s activities, including face painting, rock climbing and rides, while stallholders and refreshment vendors will be on hand.

Santa and his reindeer are also planning a visit.

Fireworks over Cleveland are scheduled to start at 8pm.

There are two chances in the Moreton Bay region to enjoy community Christmas carols.

The first are scheduled for 3pm to 8pm on December 10 at Scarborough Beach Park, Landsborough Avenue, Scarborough.

The second is between the same times on December 17 at the Caboolture Town Square, 60-78 King St, Caboolture.

Both events will include Santa’s Village with free Christmas activities, a life-sized snow globe, family entertainment, markets, workshops and fireworks to end the night with a bang.