Community and business leaders are sharing some of their Christmas spirit before the annual Countdown to Christmas street parade and Christmas tree lighting on Thursday (November 28).
The celebrations this year remind Hastings residents of the gratitude towards local firefighters and reflect on the strength of community, according to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council mayor Peta Pinson.
"I think the way the community has come together over the region experiencing the tragedy it has, it will make this a very special Christmas," she said.
"It will be a year of reflection for this Christmas and we are all looking for something to really celebrate. Now that the Christmas spirit is really coming into town with the tree up and looking fantastic, I think the Countdown will be extra special.
"To me Christmas is about family, it's about community, it's about celebrating and having a wind down at the end of the year. The lighting of the tree is about the community coming together."
The Countdown to Christmas starts at 5.30pm with entertainment on Town Green with Sing Australia and BluHyp Band.
Crowds will be welcomed before the start of the mascot race along Horton Street from 5.45pm.
The street parade will flow along Horton Street, starting from the corner of Hayward Street and finishing in Town Square.
Santa will be arriving in a vintage fire truck for the parade and will be available for photos with a Santa Line from the conclusion of the parade at 6.30pm until 7.45pm.
The mascot winner and best float awards will also be presented at 6.30pm.
Stage performances will be on show at Town Green from Port Macquarie Performing Arts Group, Bel Canto Choir Group, Theatre Oz Performance Group and Hastings Secondary College Jazz Ensemble.
Cr Pinson, Santa, MBC Recruitment and Ostara representatives will start the countdown and light up the Christmas Tree at 8pm.
MBC Recruitment business manager Jacob Deline said Christmas is about bringing everyone together for a nice festive season.
"Christmas is always about giving. It's a time of community working together to do their best and having the best time possible," he said.
"It's always a tricky time of the year because not everyone is able to celebrate to the same degree."
Local sponsor of the annual fireworks display, Infrabuild have donated the cost of the fireworks to local Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews through the council.
"For me it's about family, plain and simple. The family we have here in Port Macquarie, those in Sydney and our extended family in France and Germany," said InfraBuild branch manager Port Macquarie, Greg Boath.
"We hosted a young girl this year from France and she has now become part of our family. So we are just as keen to celebrate with her, her family and friends as our own and other friends in town."
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