Stable on the Strand

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Stable Village - Elevated view

Stable on the Strand is an annual Christmas event in the Australian city of Townsville,[1][2] described as "part installation, part fun fair and part theatrical performance".[3] For five days before Christmas (18–22 December) each year, Townsville’s major ocean-front park, The Strand is transformed into the historic town of Bethlehem, complete with Roman soldiers, traditional craftspeople, livestock, shepherds and of course Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The event attracts up to 40,000 visitors a year.[4]


The Stable was created in the youth centre in Mount Louisa in 1999, having been designed by Jay Goodwin and organised by Anne Harley, and was attended by ca. 120 people on the opening night. In 2002, it moved to the Strand and acquired its current name.[5]

The story[edit]

An interactive re-creation of the traditional Christmas story, Stable on the Strand is a free event for the whole family, and is fast becoming a Christmas tradition for families in the Townsville region. Christmas 2007 saw over 40,000 visitors enjoy the ambiance of Bethlehem 2000 years ago, before heading to the adjacent stage on the beach to be entertained by talented performers, including Colin Buchanan. Plenty of kids’ activities, keep the young ones entertained, while the older visitors enjoy a complimentary slice of fruitcake and cuppa. It depends on up to 1000 volunteers per year.[6]


In 2002, it was awarded the honour of Townsville’s Event of the Year and the organiser Anne Harley was Townsville’s Citizen of the Year in 2006.


Live At The Strand right on the beach
  • The Stable Village - Enjoy the interactive display with the sites, sounds and smells of the era
  • Live At The Strand - A program of local and visiting artists on the beach-side stage
  • Hospitality Areas - Enjoy a free cuppa & a piece of Christmas cake in the cool sea breezes


  1. ^ Macdonald, Emily (December 18, 2012). "Stable on the Strand set for 'marry' Christmas". Townsville Bulletin. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Stable on the Strand takes Christmas back to basics again this Year". Townsville News Online. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Fernbach, Nathalie (23 December 2010). "Journey into Bethlehem". ABC (Australia). Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Stable on the Strand seeking Volunteers for 2011". Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Anne, Harley (2 December 2012). "Letter to the Congregation" (doc). Church News & Notes - Vol 51 No. 45. Mount Louisa House of Praise. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Kellner, Lydia (December 8, 2012). "Big Stable expected but volunteers needed". Townsville Bulletin. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 19°14′45″S 146°48′40″E / 19.24583°S 146.81111°E / -19.24583; 146.81111