Port Macquarie's Christmas Fair wasn't quite as spectacular as council hoped with the anticipated oohs and ahhs replaced by "hah-hah" at the lighting of the tree.
The celebration on Friday, December 2, brought together food trucks, market stalls, entertainment and activities at the Town Green and Town Square.
Santa and Mrs Claus arrived aboard a Marine Rescue Port Macquarie boat with the celebration building-up to the lighting of the Christmas tree.
When the switch was flicked however, it revealed a dishevelled display of string lights and colourless globes.
It turned out the towering pine standing sentinel over the town's Christmas festivities had taken a pummelling in this week's hailstorm.
Even Port Macquarie-Hastings Council couldn't help but laugh at its "very sad Christmas tree".
On its social pages on December 3, council said that "with everything our community has been through recently, we know everyone appreciates a good laugh! We are glad our very sad Christmas tree could provide that for everyone."
"So let's be real. Our poor tree does look like it was decorated by Santa after he's whizzed around the world and had too many eggnogs," the post reads.
"However, it began with the best of intentions, and our team did work hard to bring you this event, despite extraordinary winds yesterday afternoon - and rain threatening all day.
"And don't forget - our magnificent and treasured pine tree was hit (like our cars) in the hailstorm. Just like the rest of us - she's battered and bruised, but she's still standing.
"We hope everyone still had fun and enjoyed the festivities. And hey, at least it was memorable."
Mayor Peta Pinson said the Christmas Fair signified the beginning of the festive celebrations and that this Christmas, without COVID restrictions, was extra special.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.