RESIDENTS of Goonellabah and their families joined together for a jolly Christmas celebration yesterday.
The annual community Christmas party, held at the Goonellabah Soccer Club, was a joint initiative of the YWCA and Lismore City Council as part of the Goonellabah Community Plan, which aims to promote reconciliation in positive and affirming ways.
And it certainly did that.
Locals gathered in good spirits to celebrate together.
The council's Youth and Community Development Officer Lizette Twisleton said it was a perfect way to celebrate the holidays.
"What better way to get people together than at Christmas time with something fun and free for the whole family," she said.
"Sometimes spending time together chatting and sharing food is the best way to change attitudes and foster good relationships. It's simple but effective.
"Christmas is about people coming together and enjoying being together and importantly, having fun."
There were buckets of entertainment for all, from musical performances by Western Australian singer Kerrianne Cox, the YWCA playgroup and Kadina High School choir, to face-painting, a jumping castle, a free barbecue, snow cones, children's games, and My Bumsqueak, the clown.
Of course, Santa visited too, riding shotgun on a fire truck, to instil the festive spirit and 30 hampers were raffled off to good homes.
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell was on hand to spread warm Christmas wishes to her fellow Goonellabah residents, dubbing the town a fantastic place to live.
"We know it's a special place with a strong sense of community and belonging," Cr Dowell said.