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The magic of the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant will live on this festive season at the State Library of South Australia, with the beautiful Mortlock Chamber hosting an exclusive exhibit of pageant memorabilia.

Displayed alongside the State Library’s giant seven-metre-high Christmas tree, which stretches to the height of the first level of the Mortlock, the Christmas Pageant exhibit gives visitors a taste of the magic of the Pageant, with costumes, imagery and artefacts, including toy soldiers and Nipper, the beloved chestnut horse.

State Library of South Australia Director, Geoff Strempel, is pleased to be working with the Christmas Pageant on the display as part of a range of festive activities on offer at the Library.

“The selection of items which are kindly on-loan from the Christmas Pageant will allow us to craft a nostalgic display that will delight Christmas lovers of all ages, and give them a chance to see these items up close.

“It will also create a beautiful backdrop, alongside our giant Christmas tree, for the range of Christmas activities and events that we are thrilled to be offering to the public this festive season.”

Visitors to the Library will also be greeted by ‘Santa the Curator’, a giant inflatable Santa displayed in the Library Foyer as part of the City of Adelaide’s Christmas Trail, which encourages people to follow a city wide ‘Santa Course’ map and visit all 10 Santas around Adelaide.

Across the season, families can enjoy a range of free Christmas activities daily, including crafts, story time sessions, a reading nook, school choirs and vocal ensembles singing carols, and a display of Christmas pop-up books from the Library’s diverse collection.

This year, guests will also experience the festive season in the iconic Mortlock Chamber like never before, with a delightful high tea taking place on level one, overlooking the giant Christmas tree and magical Christmas Pageant exhibition. The unique experience is already sold out.

Key activities this holiday season at the Mortlock Chamber include:

  • Christmas craft (On daily) – Free Christmas decoration making activity
  • Christmas reading nook (On daily) – A festive-themed reading nook
  • Christmas displays (Daily from November 18) – A Christmas Pop-up book from the State Library’s extensive collection
  • Christmas Pageant Exhibition (Daily from November 18) – an exclusive display of memorable pieces from the Adelaide Christmas Pageant
  • High Tea at the Mortlock (Sold out) (Each Sunday from 26 November until 17 December at 10am and 2pm) – enjoy a festive themed high tea in the Mortlock Chamber, whilst taking in the enchanting giant Christmas tree and exclusive Christmas Pageant Display
  • Christmas story telling (11am and 1pm daily from Monday 18 to Friday 22 December) – storytelling under the giant Christmas tree
  • Santa the Curator, by City of Adelaide (Daily from November 4) Visit ‘Santa the Curator’, a giant inflatable Santa stationed in the foyer as part of the City of Adelaide’s Santa Course
  • Lumina Vocals Ensemble (Sunday 10 December, from 12.30pm-2.30pm) – A festive Christmas performance in the Mortlock Chamber
  • School choir performances (10.30am and 1pm daily from Monday 4 to Friday 8 December) - School choirs from around Adelaide will perform Christmas carols in the Mortlock Chamber
  • Young Adelaide Voices (Saturday 16 December at 1pm and Tuesday 19 December at 2pm) – Performing Christmas carols under the tree.

The Christmas Pageant exhibition will be free to visit and open daily from Saturday November 18 until Sunday January 7 2024.

The giant Christmas tree in the Mortlock Chamber in the State Library of South Australia is powered by SA Power Networks and runs until Sunday January 7 2024.

For more information, visit Christmas at the Mortlock.

Event details

Mortlock Chamber, State Library of South Australia
Corner North Terrace and Kintore Avenue
Free entry

Open: Monday: 9am to 5pm Tuesday: 9am to 7pm
Wednesday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10pm to 5pm (special season opening hours)
(Closed public holidays)

Media contacts

Laura Peters
0404 976 299

Lisa Reichstein
0481 238 560

Download the media release