Sovereign Hill has broken its visitation record for the first time in 43 years. Over the Easter period in 1974, Sovereign Hill hit its record number of visitors in a single day – a number unsurpassed until 15 July 2017. Over the course of the day, Sovereign Hill welcomed a new record, thanks in part to the Winter Wonderlights spectacular.
A possible reason for the spike in visitors in 1974 was the introduction of traditional sweet-making equipment that was transferred from Brown’s Confectionery Manufactory in Ballarat. The original equipment from the 19th century is still used to make Sovereign Hill’s famous boiled lollies – including their delicious raspberry drops – which may have been an enticing drawcard over the Easter break.
This year, however, the intricate and beautiful light show Winter Wonderlights was the key attraction. Enlisting the talents of Electric Canvas (of Vivid and White Night fame), Main Street came alive with colourful lights and imagery projected onto the Victorian façades. After seven years of Winter Wonderlights, a new mascot was introduced to herald the Christmas in July month-long event in the form of the Gingerbread Man.
The campaign included a short film, outdoor signage, radio, TVC, HTML5 banner ads, social media, email marketing, real gingerbread cookies made in his image for promotional use, and a Gingerbread Man costume.
The tangible results from the campaign speak for themselves. Not only did Sovereign Hill break its single-day visitation record after 43 years, it beat its monthly visitor goal for the month of July with more visitors through the doors this year than in 2016.
To keep up-to-date with everything else that goes on at this amazing living museum, visit sovereignhill.com.au.