The ‘Burstow’s Christmas Wonderland’ began in 2003 with the dream of creating an event that the whole community could come to and experience the joy and wonder of Christmas.
We wanted to create a delightful display of lights and provide supper and free give a-ways for the children. Tentatively we took our first steps, and wondered if anyone would come.
But come they did – in droves, amazed at the spectacle and stunned at the generosity.
We in turn were overwhelmed as the community opened their hearts and pockets, and wanted to give something back. And so the ‘Gold Coin Donation’ was started for us. Trevor and Don Burstow never intended to create a fundraiser, but this has grown to be a major part of the event. 2006 saw $106 000 raised.
This came from visitors, a charity auction and substantial donations from local businesses. The major beneficiary was Lifeline, and in particular their Living Works Program (a suicide prevention initiative), because although Burstow’s created a festive event, they were aware that for many in our community, Christmas is not always a wonderful time.
Lifeline is inundated over the Christmas season with requests for support. Today, the Christmas Wonderland has now grown to be one of Queensland’s biggest light extravaganzas with upwards of 80 000 visitors in 2015.
The event has continued to expand and many thousands of light-bulbs have been added to the displays thanks to the tireless efforts of the Lions Club of Toowoomba West so many more local charities benefit from our visitors generosity. Burstow’s greatest dream has been realized, in that a real sense of community has been forged. Visitors are indicating that this is fast becoming a family tradition at Christmas, and ‘See you at the lights’ is being heard all over Toowoomba during the festive season.
We hope to see you there this Christmas
3rd to 24th of December 2016
come along and share in the magic!