Preparations begin for Festival of Lights

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Special guests gathered on Monday to celebrate the re-branding of Griffith’s month-long Christmas celebration the Festival Of Lights.

For Christmas light connoisseur Roy Marando, the light display has special personal significance.

“This year is very personal. I befriended this young English lady over the last year, and one night her and her friend was staying here when she received the news that her mother had been killed in the Manchester bombings. It was such a tragic night.”

Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, Mayor John Dal Broi and even Santa turned up at Mr Marando’s house, which was named 2016’s people’s choice display winner, for the announcement of government funds helping with this years events.

Ms Ley took pleasure in announcing $18,000 to be given to Griffith City Council under the Building Better Regions initiative.

“As Christmas approaches I can’t think of a better cause for community support, celebration and spirit, and I am definitely coming back in December to see Roy and his lights, because he has assured me they are not yet completed.”

The grant will go towards increasing the free Christmas light bus runs, which will be held on Friday and Saturday nights from December 1 to the 23, an outdoor cinema screening on December 15, as well as a plethora of other events.

“The joy that people obviously get is priceless, and I know a lot of towns where there is Christmas lights, but I have never seen them in the scale that they are in Griffith …

“I’m looking forward to coming back to Griffith and seeing all the lights everywhere completed, it’s certainty a very special time of year,” Ms Ley said.

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Griffith Mayor John Dal Broi is also getting excited to see all the lights around town once again, and thanked Ms Ley and the Federal Government for the money to continue the event in it’s second year.

“To have the tours with the buses really adds something, people can jump on the buses and view all the houses and decorations, the festival lights, and it doesn’t cost them anything,” Cr Dal Broi said.

“It’s giving something back to the community.

“All the people who put their houses up, who decorated their homes and gardens for Christmas, it’s a wonderful event.”

Mr Marando took great pleasure in showing Ms Ley and Cr Dal Broi around his “unfinished” but still impressive lights display.

“I just love seeing peoples happy faces when they come up here, and we are seeing bigger and bigger crowds, and people come along to enjoy it.”