It was a real community event, and especially one for the kids, at the Maiden Gully Christmas carols on Sunday. Around 350 people turned out and gave up a gold coin donation on a warm sunny evening at the Beckhams Road Recreation Reserve on December 3. The event featured six musical acts - from primary school players and CV Dance Studio performers to a grown up ukelele band - as well as free face painting and a visit from Santa. Among the food and drinks available from locally based food trucks was Greek food, pizza, pulled pork rolls and icecream. The Lions Club of Maiden Gully-Marong were cooking 20kg of sausages and 10kg of hamburgers and said they didn't expect to be putting any leftovers in the fridge. This year's were the 11th annual carols, Maiden Gully Progress Association president James Proctor said. The event had been going since 2010 with a couple of years missed due to COVID and weather conditions, and the association was very happy with the way it had come together, he said. It came after a successful autumn and also spring festival for the area organised by the Progress Association. This year there were two new performance groups - the U3A choir and Goldfields Ukestra ukelele group. At least 22 volunteers from the Progress Association and their friends were involved, as well as the performers, Mr Proctor said. Maiden Gully Primary instrumental music teacher Leigh Turney said the school always had the opening slot on the bill. His students loved playing their keyboards and guitars, he said, and while they would have been nervous, they enjoyed performing. Local resident Shonnay, who was enjoying the evening with her dad, Chris, wasn't the only one in the crowd to have been brought back to the carols by the arrival of a child. The young mother said she hadn't been to the event since she was around her son, Jax's age. Given he was only 18 months old, it might as well have been her first time there but it had been "excellent", she said.