The Big Santa
Since 2015, Adelaide Central Market in Gouger St., Adelaide, Australia, has been the home of the historic Father Christmas sculpture known as the Big Santa. The 16-metre-tall Father Christmas statue has been in existence since the 1960s and was first installed in front of John Martin’s, currently David Jones building in Rundle Mall.
Rundle Mall underwent some significant renovations in 2014, which included the removal of the canopy where The Big Santa stood for ages. As a result, Big Santa did not celebrate Christmas with the locals until 2015, when he reemerged at the Adelaide Central Market.
The City Council and the local market shared the costs of moving the three-tonne Christmas icon. Also, they consulted with experienced architects to ensure that the market’s building and the giant sculpture remained intact during the relocation. Now, The Big Santa waves at the market’s visitors every Christmas.
David Jones did not abandon its Christmas traditions after the Big Santa found a new home. The precinct is well known for its Magic Cave, where children are always excited to meet a real-life Santa and send their requests via the elf post office.
At Big Santa’s new home, the market is always at its busiest during the Christmas season. Apart from fresh produce, the 115-year-old building has some of the best Christmas decorations, and the presence of the big Santa makes the festive season in this part of Australia even more magical.
The state of South Australia is home to several historic and popular Big Things. Examples of some notable Big Things in South Australia include the Big Scotsman in Mediendie (the oldest Big Thing in Australia), The Big Ram in Karoonda, Big Pigeon in Rundle Mall, Big Rocking Horse in Gumeracha, Big Winch in Coober Pedy, among others. Please visit the South Australia page of our blog to see a more detailed list of historic Big Things in this part of the nation.