image desription

Father Christmas Settles into his new Ho-Ho-Home

McMahon Services keep festive tradition alive by installing iconic Father Christmas at new Central Markets location.

For as long as most Adelaide residents can remember, Rundle Mall has been the home of the iconic giant Father Christmas, appearing on the façade of David Jones throughout the festive season.

Due to renovations on David Jones’ Rundle Mall façade, the giant three tonne Father Christmas decoration was forced to find a new home.

The Adelaide Central Markets iconic 115 year old heritage listed Market Tower presented the perfect location to display one of Adelaide’s beloved Christmas decorations.

The new CBD placement was the result of collaboration between the Adelaide City Council, Adelaide Central Market Authority, David Jones and Rundle Mall Management Authority, whom were all eager to find the best place to display the large-scale decoration for the iconic Father Christmas.

Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese was very pleased with the solution, saying he was glad Father Christmas would be back to delight city-goers.

“This excellent outcome has been achieved through great collaboration, with all parties coming together to ensure that this festive favourite and South Australian icon returns” said Haese.



Following a high-pressure wash, structural modifications were necessary in order for Father Christmas to be erected onto the brickwork of the Market Tower at the Central Markets.

The internal structural beams were cut down to suit dimensions of the new Central Market location and an engineering consultant was engaged to provide a design for new fixing cleats and plates attached to the façade of the Market Tower, which ultimately connected and supported the Father Christmas.

An in-house surveyor was used to mark up the location of the holes that were to be cored into the tower’s façade to anchor the 15m decoration. While onsite, McMahon Services boilermakers carried out alterations to the veranda in order to strengthen it for Father Christmas’ platform to rest on. Exceptional care was taken in order to eliminate potential damage to the heritage listed structure.

Project Redman (6)


In preparation for the day of installation, a comprehensive traffic management plan and logistics schedules were developed. The traffic plan indicated layout of traffic redirection equipment, positioning of vehicles and pedestrian signage.

Two traffic controllers were onsite during installation and removal to assist the McMahon Services project team with all traffic and pedestrian control. The logistics schedules provided timing of truck arrivals which was an integral part of the day’s events, in turn preventing vehicle congestion on the busy Grote Street.


Following the festive season, Father Christmas was transported back to the McMahon Services yard, where he will stay until next year

Adelaide Central Markets welcomed news crews to capture the installation and removal of Father Christmas, excited to share his new home with the public.

You can view the footage on our YouTube channel:

Project Redman (5)

Project Redman (9)