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Winter Magic Festival 2016

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by Linda Moon (subscribe)
... a dreamer, freelance writer, naturopath, mother & former social work student based in the Blue Mountains. Continue the journey with me- Soul Home:
Release your inner wizard & join the revelry of winter
Winter magic festival, Katoomba, Blue Mountains, June 2016
Street scene from the Grand Parade, Winter Magic Festival, 2014, Katoomba

For some community spirit and a touch of magic, head up the hill for the Winter Magic Festival at Katoomba, the Blue Mountains most famous and iconic town.

Release your inner wizard or wizardress and defeat the cold with some winter revelry amongst thousands of others. What inspires me most about this festival is the sight of so much jubilance, dancing and singing in the face of one of the coldest, meanest days of the year.

Now into its 23rd year, Winter Magic Festival makes its annual appearance this year on saturday 18th June. Starting life as a celebration of the winter solstice organized and run by the vibrant arts community of the Blue Mountains, these days it's the biggest drawcard on the Blue Mountains calendar, attracting thousands of outsiders drawn from Sydney and the outer west, as well as the local community itself.

winter magic festival, Katoomba, Blue Mountains - winter festivals, NSW
This fluffy duo were popular with Angeline

Hosted by the inaugural City of the Arts, the festival is a unique creative expression by a community that boasts twice the state average of creative residents - artists, musicians and writers.

Winter Magic Festival is a non-profit event and free for anyone to attend - including wizards, witches and vampires from all walks of life.

winter magic festival, Katoomba, Blue Mountains - winter festivals, NSW
This guy

The parade and stalls also feature many community groups, active in local projects. Vintage costumes and magical themes feature strongly each year.

Craft, food, clothing, jewellery and other stalls throughout Katoomba Street, a parade of locals and entertainment in local venues are the main features of the day. The latter usually require admittance fees.

winter magic festival katoomba, Blue Mountains
Fun stall items at the Winter Magic Festival, 2014

Attend the Poets Breakfast or the Carrington Hotels Peasant Ball, take part in the Busker's Competition, get your face painted or grab a mini-massage at the local TAFE.

The theme for this year's festival is "where the magic things are." Time to dig out that wand and magician's cape in the back of your closet.

winter magic festival, Katoomba, Blue Mountains - winter festivals, NSW
Let the magic begin

Key activities of the day include:

The grand parade:

The parade consists of about 500 locals including community groups, dancers, drummers and musicians, mostly in costumes.

The parade starts from the intersection of Lurline and Waratah streets at 11.30am, continues into Katoomba street (the main street of Katoomba). From the top of Katoomba street it moves into Main street (the street parallel to the rail station) and finishes in Parke street.

winter magic festival, Katoomba, Blue Mountains - winter festivals, NSW
Costumes to die for at Winter Magic Festival (2014). I want what she's wearing.

Fireworks and closing ceremony:

To close the night, there's a fireworks display at 6.30pm at the Carrington Hotel and a performance by Claude Hay on the Carrington Place Stage.

winter magic festival, Katoomba, Blue Mountains - winter festivals, NSW
Winter Magic Festival - the parade runs through the main street of Katoomba - aptly named Katoomba Street.

For the full festival program, check out the winter magic website here.

Whatever you do, rug up in your winter woolies including hat, scarf, gloves and a thick coat. Winter is cold in this neck of the woods!

Winter magic festival, Katoomba, Blue Mountains - winter festivals, NSW
Jason de Wilde and Linda Moon at the 2014 Winter Magic Festival.

Getting to Winter Magic

By car: From Sydney take the M4 motorway all the way up to Katoomba. Katoomba is the main tourist town of the Blue Mountains and is about 100km's from Sydney. From the M4 you turn left into the town at traffic lights.

The main street will be blocked off for the day for the festival event. Find parking in surrounding streets or try the shopping centre carparks (around Woolworths, Big W and Coles) if you get stuck.

By train: Better still, catch the train. The rail station is located right in the centre of the town and from there you can walk straight out of the station and into the thick of the festival. Check in advance for any interruptions to regular train services - you know how CityRail and CountryLink is!

winter magic festival, Katoomba, Blue Mountains - winter festivals, NSW
The steampunk guy - a touch of vintage comes to town

If you're planning staying overnight, do book in advance as accommodation can be booked out in the town over the weekend of the festival.

If you get stuck, try the listings from local real estates for an empty holiday let house.

winter magic festival, Katoomba, Blue Mountains - winter festivals, NSW
Local musicians entertain the crowd at winter magic festival 2014

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Why? Join in the community fun and defeat the cold
When: 18th June 2016
Where: Katoomba
Cost: Free to attend the festival. Admission fees apply for most specific events.
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