Stuffed Santa’s herald festive season start

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Coonawarra and Penola district as the annual Stuffed Santa Competition kicks into gear, with the first of the jolly men in red appearing along the Coonawarra Strip.


Flying over the highway and making his great escape to Rymill is ‘Cooler King’ Santa McQueen

Now in its seventh year the competition, hosted by the Penola District Business and Tourism Association and proudly sponsored by Koonara wines, attracts a sea of unique entries with a theme to inspire. This year’s theme  “Santa goes to Hollywood” is sure to spark the imagination of both participating business and homeowner entries alike.


The judging panel this year includes Olivia Thomas, Penola Primary School principal Anna Copping, Mary MacKillop Primary School principal Maureen Hanrahan and Penola High School teacher Ngaire Benfell.

Deciding on a winner will be no easy feat, given the caliber of entries in previous years. “The judges will look for creative entries where people have really thought out of the box and humour is also a great drawcard,” Ms McCulloch said.  “We are really looking forward to seeing the Hollywood references and roles Santa finds himself in.

Jack Estate’s Stuffed Santa “Jaws” entry

“The Stuffed Santa competition is a fabulous drawcard for visitors to the region and adds an extra dimension for visitors already coming. It’s a great talking point, especially in these days of social media.”

Two years ago the competition attracted national attention after an apprearance on Channel 7’s morning sunrise program.

Is is a bird? Is it a plane?…Its Super Santa! Hollick Estates Superman inspired entry

“Every point of difference to attract visitors to Penola and Coonawarra is great and worth the effort and in turn benefits the entire community,”Ms. McCulloch said.

Prizes include cash, wine and chocolate, with winners set to be announced at the Penola Street Christmas Party on December 21st in Penola Memorial Park.

The Christmas street party willstartt in the park from 5pm and feature the ever propular bike decorating competition, food by Finns Fine Food, wine by the Coonawarra Vigenrons and an appearance by the jolly man in red, Santa.



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