All smiles and Santa hats for Cailie and William Cootes at the Grafton Carols by Candlelight at Alumy Creek Reserve.
All smiles and Santa hats for Cailie and William Cootes at the Grafton Carols by Candlelight at Alumy Creek Reserve.

GALLERY: Grafton carols defy rainy sky

DENIS Walter’s deep voice has sung the tunes of Christmas carols for longer than he can remember, heading the Christmas Carols at the Sidney Myer Music bowl for more than thirty years.

This year he’ll front eight Carols by Candlelight, and under the giant trees of the Alumy Creek reserve, he sang his first for the year the Grafton event.

Backed by Greg Butcher and the Clarence Valley orchestra and choir, he led the crowd in a mix of Christmas standards.

His rich baritone sound may have even been the catalyst for a large thunderstorm to part and mostly miss the third annual event, with only a touch of rain interrupting the festivities.

Hundreds sat in the open air of the reserve, while swarms of children ran through, eagerly waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.

He didn’t disappoint, with a stylish looking sleigh bringing him across the Grafton bridge and into the event, mobbed by those eager to catch a treat.

Two of those who weren’t going to let the rain stop them seeing Santa were Xanthea Catt and Evalina Catt, who had big raincoats to ward off the wet, and were glad to pick up lots of treat from Santa.

The pair said their favourite Christmas carol was Jingle Bells, which was a popular choice among the children.

Dressed in their own Santa outfit, another set of siblings excited to see Santa said they were eager to hear their favourite song.

“I want to hear Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” Cailie Cootes said. “That’s my favourite.”

The carols event was sponsored by Grafton Midday Rotary.

Entry was by gold coin donation and this year all proceeds will go towards the local bushfire appeals.