PHOTOS

Bad weather fails to ruin carols and turning on lights event at Cronulla

The night-time feeling in Cronulla mall has been transformed with the turning on of 20,000 fairy lights.

It is hoped the lights and carols singing in the mall between now and Christmas will give businesses a boost after the impact of COVID.

Sutherland Shire Council, Cronulla Chamber of Commerce and the Christian churches have combined with the initiative.

Friday night's carols and turning on the lights event was acclaimed a success despite bad weather intervening.

With a forecast of thunderstorms, rain and strong winds, organisers made the decision early in the day to move the carols to the Cronulla RSL Memorial Club.

Cronulla Chamber of Commerce president Mark Aprilovic said the club's chief executive Sue McNeill "saved the day".

"About 200 to 300 people attended," he said.

"They enjoyed the performances of Zac Anderson and his Brass Trio, who sang traditional European carols, followed by Anthony Gibara and Tanya Christensen, who performed Michael Buble Christmas classics and soloist Shaun Cooke," he said.

"To finish the night, multiple Golden Guitar winner Luke O'Shea and Shawnee Schmid rocked the crowd, providing that Christmas feeling we all love."

The weather prevented the live streaming of the turning on of 20,000 fairy lights in the mall, but mayor Steve Simpson, in his last official function, invited the crowd to close their eyes and use their imagination as they counted down.

A soft surfboard was donated by one of the sponsors, Highland, for guessing how many lollies were in a glass bow. Eight-year-old Odin won the board and Marley was given the lollies.

More than 200 people voted in the People's Choice award, which was won by Brook Swinbourne Hairdressing. The prize was a $300 Cronulla RSL Club voucher.

Cronulla Travel won the dignitaries' award, chosen by councillors Steve Simpson, Carol Provan and Michael Forshaw, which was a $300 Brass Monkeys voucher.

The celebration continued on Saturday from 2pm-4pm with carols in the mall amphitheatre and Monro Park, performed by Mia Fernandez, Shaun Cooke and Sing Australia choir.

Carols will he held at the same time, 2pm-4pm, on the next two Saturdays leading up to Christmas.

"A special thanks to Robyn Adamski from Events by Robyn, who put together all facets of the event coordination in her usual professional way," Mr Aprilovic said.

"Also, Lourelle Simpson, who coordinated the performers from shire churches and musical societies for Friday night and the three Saturdays.

"The Chamber of Commerce, Sutherland Shire Council and Christian churches hope to build to an annual Christmas festival event for next year and future years.

"We invite the community to come and enjoy Christmas in Cronulla.

"We ask residents to shop locally and support their local businesses, which have suffered through COVID."