It was made famous by Seinfeld more than 20 years ago, and now the secular holiday of Festivus will be enshrined in one of Corrimal’s back streets.
In one of its more spirited naming proposals, Wollongong City Council will christen the modest unnamed laneway running between Midgley Street and the Princes Highway as Festivus Lane.
According to the council, this name proved more popular than the suggestion – Ice Cream Lane – which was put forward in reference to the founding of Streets Ice Cream in Corrimal.
Princes Highway resident Scotty Morgan said he was “partly to blame” for the Festivus suggestion, after starting an informal street party in the lane a few years ago.
From a gathering of a few mates before the Christmas rush, Corrimal’s Festivus has grown to become a fixture of the festive season and attracts families from all over the neighborhood.
“I didn’t grow up around here, but it means all the kids in the streets now know each other,” Mr Morgan said.
“We were kind of serious but not serious in putting [the name] in – but it met all the naming criteria by being a local event and there were no other names like it.
“I think it’s nice to have something a bit modern being recognised.”
In a report to councillors, staff have not mentioned Seinfeld in their description of why Festivus Lane was most appropriate.
They simply described the December 23 event as “as a way of celebrating the Christmas holiday season without participating in its pressures and commercialism”.
However, Mr Morgan said there was always a touch of the 90s sitcom at the annual street party.
“We do have an aluminium pole and the annual airing of grievances,” he said, referencing some of the trappings of Seinfeld character George Costanza’s family Festivus celebrations.
On Monday night, councillors will also consider names for three other unnamed lanes in Corrimal – Summerhill Lane, Rosalia Lane and Bignell Lane.
The new names will help contractors, delivery companies, Australia Post and emergency services, the council said.
The reasons behind the names*
Summerhill Lane – south western lane
Dr George Cox was born in Nottinghamshire, England in about 1805. He arrived in Australia in 1840 and acquired approximately 50 acres of land at Corrimal which he named Summerhill.
There is a creek dividing the north western lane and as it is unlikely that a bridge will be constructed over this creek in the near future, it is proposed that the southern portion of the lane from Coxs Avenue, heading north over Robson Street to the creek, is named Summerhill Lane.
Rosalia Lane – south eastern lane
Sister Rosalia of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus opened the first Catholic school in April 1904.
Bignell Lane – north western lane
Bob Bignell started his football career in 1939 and amassed 424 appearances over 24 years with the Corrimal Rangers, Woonona, North Shore and South Coast United. He captained the Australian Socceroos Olympic Football Team at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, played rugby league and cricket for Corrimal and was a noted sportsman in the area.
Festivus Lane – north eastern lane
The name Festivus comes from the “Festivus Celebration” held in the lane on 23 December each year, with 2018 being the 4th year of this well-attended community event. Festivus references a secular holiday celebrated on 23 December as a way of celebrating the Christmas holiday season without participating in its pressures and commercialism.
*Source: Wollongong City Council