The inflatable QBE archway stood tall with pride at the entrance to Elder Park as carolers flocked in their thousands to celebrate the festive season with an evening of song, dance and of course – fireworks!
With the event officially opening at 2pm, there was plenty of fun for all the family to enjoy. A pre-show filled with children’s entertainment was held from 5pm – 8pm, before Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor and South Australian Premier Steven Marshall gave a warm welcome speech to herald the start of the main event at 8:15pm.
Keep on reading for a comprehensive guide on all the food and festivities on offer at this year’s Carols by Candlelight!
Limited VIP Reserved Seating ($59+ booking fee)
After many years spent getting to Elder Park ridiculously early, lugging around heavy camping chairs, calling “dibs” on a spot and only being able to move from there one at a time so we didn’t lose it – we finally decided to cave in and treat ourselves to A Reserve Limited VIP Reserved Seating.
To our pleasant surprise, we were lucky enough to be seated right in the centre six rows from the stage, giving us the perfect view of all the on-stage entertainment as well as some much-needed shade from the harsh summer afternoon sun.
Although we still got there early (to try out everything on offer at the food stalls, of course!), we had the ease of mind knowing that we could leave our seats whenever we wanted whilst still staying together without having our place stolen.
A KFC Christmas Feast
It truly was a Christmas miracle when we saw the iconic KFC bucket glistening like the Star of Bethlehem atop their own event truck! Kindly sponsoring this year’s Carols by Candlelight, KFC also created a picnic area around their ginormous truck for what they called “KFC Hourly Feasts”. By signing up to the waiting list out the front of their adorable outdoor seating area on the day, you were granted an hour-long free feast of finger lickin’ good original recipe chicken, popcorn chicken and their signature thick-cut chips by the bucketload. We were lucky enough to get in just before all the hourly lists filled up at 4:30pm, and were treated to an hour of feasting as well as festivities such as KFC Karaoke, kids crafts, and games such as charades!
Food and Drink Vendors
To keep your jolly bellies satisfied and your thirsts quenched, there were plenty of food vendors offering up everything from baked potatoes to strawberries and cream!
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
To satisfy your sweet tooth, the team from Krispy Kreme served hot beverages on their coffee machine and sold their signature original glazed and assorted doughnuts. Their limited edition “Merry Krispymas” Christmas range was also on offer, featuring gingerbread men, santa bellies, christmas trees and festive sprinkled doughnuts.
Festival Catering by Dave Moore
This food truck radiated all those classic carnival vibes, decked out with American-themed stars and stripes and reeling you in with vibrant colours of red, yellow and white. Here, you could choose from all your childhood funfair favourites such as fairy floss, toffee apples and dagwood dogs.
To quench your thirst on such a warm summers day, SlushHappy had a broad variety of fun and funky healthy slushies! You heard right – their entire slushie range is made from a 99% low GI fruit juice base approved by FOCiS and Healthy Kids! For a touch of novelty, you could also have your slushie served in a refillable “volcano tube” that you could take home as a little keepsake!
Staazi & Co – The Greek Vegan Project
Specialising in 100% plant based vegan food with absolutely no animal products, Staazi & Co offered a variety of traditional Greek items with a vegan twist. Items on their menu included yiros, ‘AB’ (yiros, chips and sauce), loaded fries, hot chips, moussaka, yemista, revithia, fasolakia, spanakopita and fukhes.
Fairy Floss Stall
Local fairy floss makers were whipping up a sugary storm all evening long, selling fairy floss on a stick, in a bag, a small tub or in a large bucket! A variety of heart-shaped and rainbow swirl lollipops were also on offer, providing kids and adults that are secretly kids at heart alike plenty of sugary treats to snack on whilst listening to the carols!
Moi An Vietnamese
Mời Ăn is a Vietnamese phrase meaning “please eat” – and that’s what this stall was all about! Serving up fresh and tasty Vietnamese fusion dishes incuding savoury pancakes, chicken satay skewers and BBQ pork meatball skewers with a Viet salad, all items are made with love in a home kitchen.
Jack Psellos and his team at Squid Inc. whipped up a menu consisting of quality South Australian seafood products. Offering a full range of local and exotic seafood, prepared and cooked on site for maximum freshness, their signature fish and chips are perfect to share amongst all the family as you kick back and relax on your picnic rug!
No local event or festival is complete without an appearance from Beyond India’s food vendor van! The highly renowned local company brought an expansive menu of crowd favourites ranging from entrees, curries, accompaniments and of course their signature naan bread!
Home of the Greek Souvlaki, Orexi Souvlaki have the vision of using traditional methods and family recipes, to honour the Greek heritage and to take joy in bringing delicious food to Adelaide. All you need is Orexi! Kali Orexi (which is Greek for a ‘good appetite’!)
Fully Loaded Hot Chips
This food truck offered up hot chips served with your choice of toppings, ranging from ‘fish & chips’, ‘sweet potato nacho’ and ‘bbq pulled pork’, to ‘satay beef’, ‘chilli con carne’ and ‘cheese and gravy’. Nuggets and plain chips in trays or cups were also on offer, as well as the most delicious mozzarella sticks I have ever seen.
For a sweet and almost entirely guilt-free treat, the lovely crew at Strawberries Galore had exactly just that on offer – strawberries well and truly galore! Also serving up pancakes, ice cream and hot beverages such as cappuccinos and coffees, this stall specialised in strawberry-themed desserts such as their signature strawberries and cream.
Sugar Coated Custom Cakes + Sweet Treats
Tucked away in a retro mini caravan turned food truck were hidden gems in the form of miniature desserts! Salted caramel cheesecakes, lemon meringues, panna cottas, white mud cakes with mouse and salted caramel brownies were just some of the deliciously decadent bite sized pieces of indulgence on offer, as well as a menu of hot and cold beverages!
Have no fear, coffee addicts – you could still get your daily caffeine dose thanks to the coffee delivering gods at Bean Bar! Pairing perfectly with a hot beverage were a variety of snacks which they also had on offer, such as sweet and salty caramel popcorn and warm banana bread.
Soza’s Sri Lankan Street Food
Taking your tastebuds on an international trip was Soza’s, which specialise in Sri Lankan Street Food. With items on their menu ranging from Sri Lankan chicken curry with rice and devilled chicken, to hot butter squid and classic hot chips, Soza’s offer something to tantalise everyone’s tastebuds!
Pizze in Giro
Serving up traditional handcrafted napoletana pizza were the talented pizza makers at Pizze in Giro. Husband and wife duo Angelo and Rosa Caiazza take you back to Regional Naples and excite your taste buds with their traditional, handcrafted wood oven pizzas on the go!
To cool down in the harsh summer sun, Popsicool was the place to go! Serving up eight different flavours of handcrafted and simply natural ice blocks ranging from raspberry lemonade to pineapple coconut, Popsicool are a locally owned company who produce all of their products in South Australia. All popsicles were $4.50 and kept chilled in their freezer.
Hot Diggety’s Dogs
Brought to you by The Gourmet Hot Dog Co. is Hot Diggety’s Dogs – a vibrantly coloured American-themed hot dog stand that you can’t miss! Selling a variety of hot dogs with unique toppings such as the New Yorker, Boston bean, Texas Heat and the Classic, these dogs are well and truly the bomb diggety!
The Adelaide Carols by Candlelight would not be possible without the help of naming rights partner QBE Insurance, presenting partners Government of South Australia and OTR, and supporting partners City of Adelaide Council and KFC.
Fortunately general admission entry to the Carols was free of charge, however carolers could choose to purchase Limited VIP Reserved Seating in A Reserve for $59 or B Reserve for $49 online at TicketBooth.
Farewell general admission, and hello reserved seating – paying just that little bit to be in the VIP Reserved Seating area is definitely worth it for the up close and personal experience! I know I’ll definitely be up the front every year from now on!
Catch you at another cafe,