THE VICTORIAN town of Terang, east of Geelong on Princes Highway, is expecting to cancel Christmas because of lack of interest.
Yuletide celebrations may not happen this year and the town’s Santa may be out of a job.
The elves have been told not to come, the bunting and tree is packed away and the carols choir isn’t bothering to rehearse.
Terang and District Progress Association has organised the town’s Christmas Gala Night for the past 30 years.
But the association’s membership has fallen to only three people, forcing the group to question its future as well as the Christmas party.
President Elizabeth English said the lack of new members had made it impossible to run community events.
“It’ll be sad to see the celebration go. It’s the major Christmas event in the community,” Mrs English said.
“We normally have a big street party with part of the main road closed off, plenty of food stalls and jumping castles.
“The fire brigade brings Santa and there are elves and carols in the church.
“But it looks as though none of that is going to happen this year.”
Mrs English said local charities would miss out on a chance to raise funds and for families to come together and have fun.
“We usually have all the local charities lined up along the street and people come past with their gold coins,” she said.
She said the group had little choice but to abandon the event.
“We are working with a small committee of people who are facing a large degree of burnout and are looking to step back from their positions,” Mrs English said. “I would like to see young people become involved so it is not just us who are semi-retired bearing the burden.”
Mrs English said there was a misconception the group was a traders’ organisation.
“It is for anyone who cares about their community and is a forum for any concerns, praise or community developments,” she said.
Terang-based Corangamite Shire councillor Jim O’Brien said the association had been invaluable.
“I bounce a lot of ideas off them,” Cr O’Brien said.
“They are very beneficial to me because I have to think about what the town wants and they do that.”
In a last-ditch effort to save the Christmas celebrations, and the association, an annual general meeting will be held at Terang Rotary Club at 7.30pm on Monday, July 14.