Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

SHMA’s Winter Wonderlights

Sean Inkester and Kirily Greenbank showcase new lemon meringue lollies amongst the fairy lights at Sovereign Hill for the Winter Wonderlights event. Picture: Kate Healy.

Rochelle Kirkham, Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights a major drawcard for winter tourism, The Courier, 28 July 2019

Thousands of people visited Ballarat’s biggest tourist attraction in July for its Christmas in July event.

Data shows almost 100,000 people visited Sovereign Hill from June 29 to July 21 for its annual Winter Wonderlights event.

More than 25 buildings came alive with large-scale light projections, the largest light projection spectacle ever staged on one site anywhere in Australia.

The event also featured 18 km of fairy lights.

See our full gallery from Winter Wonderlights here

While final numbers have not yet been counted, a Sovereign Hill spokesperson confirmed visitor numbers for the three-week event were up on last year’s 95,000.

Sovereign Hill chief executive Sarah Quon said in a statement it was the museum’s busiest time of the year.

“Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights has established itself as one of the key winter regional events in Victoria,” she said.

“Each year it brings enormous economic impact to the city of Ballarat and is a major drawcard for intrastate and interstate visitors.”

View Sovereign Hill’s video Winter Wonderlights in numbers here

A breakdown of Sovereign Hill visitor data shows 72 percent of visitors to Winter Wonderlights were from metropolitan and regional areas in Victoria. Fifteen percent of visitors were local to Ballarat and 13 percent were from interstate and overseas.

A breakdown of Sovereign Hill visitor data shows 72 percent of visitors to Winter Wonderlights were from metropolitan and regional areas in Victoria. Fifteen percent of visitors were local to Ballarat and 13 percent were from interstate and overseas.

While specific data is not yet available on the number of overnight stays, Sovereign Hill says Ballarat accommodation occupancy was high throughout the event period.

The entry ticket to the event lasts for two days.

In other numbers, Sovereign Hill staff made 2.5 tonnes of raspberry drops, performed 46 hours of Christmas Carols, completed 116 confectionery demonstrations and made 144 theatre performances.

“We are thrilled with the response from visitors who attended this year’s event,” Ms Quon said.

“All Sovereign Hill staff and volunteers should be proud of their commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience, during the museum’s busiest time of year.” Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights event will run from June 27 next year.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
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