Giant Santa on Brand Highway becomes a popular tourist stop

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Liam BeattyGeraldton Guardian
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Santa sits next to a barrel of hand sanatiser — just to be safe.
Camera IconSanta sits next to a barrel of hand sanatiser — just to be safe. Credit: Liam Beatty/Geraldton Guardian

Surrounded by expansive grain fields near Dongara, dozens of travellers have been stopping daily for photos with a giant Santa Claus sculpture.

Weighing more than a tonne and standing an impressive 3m tall, the festive hay bale is the creative effort of Gemma Burrell and was erected last week.

Ms Burrell said she was shocked to see how many people were stopping along Brand Highway to pose with Santa.

“It’s quite funny — we live about 700m away and get to see everyone taking photos with Santa,” she said. “I knew it would give people a smile.”

Gemma Burrell with Milly, 9, and Angus Reynolds, 12.
Camera IconGemma Burrell with Milly, 9, and Angus Reynolds, 12. Credit: Supplied

It took Ms Burrell, her husband and their niece and nephew about three days to paint St Nick and, because it was the second year they’d made something at the side of the road, it might have to become an annual tradition.

“Last year we made a Christmas tree in the same spot,” she said.

“Santa’s definitely getting a lot more attention. Because of the year it’s been, my husband wanted to put a mask on his face. ”

Anyone wanting to gripe about the waste of hay can rest easy because Ms Burrell insists she’ll probably end up “feeding it to the cows after Christmas”.

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