Let's Celebrate Belmont is back this November with a series of mini events guaranteed to entertain the family.
To start with, there's Movies Under The Star (Friday 6th November, 6-9pm; Centenary Park, corner of Daly Street and Hardey Road, Belmont). Bring your family, friends and a picnic rug and relax in the beautiful surrounding of the park while you watch "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." It's certified PG but I agree that this is not exactly suitable for young children as it has sexual references and coarse language. But it's highly entertaining and really funny for the rest of us. It helps to have a stellar cast too (Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, Bill Nighy, and more).
A couple of days following that would be a music event Jazz in the Park (Sunday 8th November, 4-6pm; Tomato Lake, Oats Street, Kewdale). The star of the day would be Allira Wilson and her band, a young Australian talent in the genre of jazz, contemporary, and soul music. You can also take this opportunity to have a walk around the lake, looking at the various wildlife including a colony of Australian ibises living around the lake.
Beautiful Tomato Lake
If you have younger family members and "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is not the kind of entertainment you seek, then the second Movies Under The Star (Friday 13th November, 6-9pm; Garvey Park, Ascot) might be more to your liking. The film screened will be Casper, everyone's favourite friendly ghost. And I guess a ghost movie is the appropriate choice for Friday the 13th. And as a friendly reminder, be prepared to get your blood drawn, not by the draculas exploring Perth on this supposedly unlucky date, but by their miniscule relatives: the mosquitoes. Garvey Park is located next to the Swan River. Pretty to look at, but could be itchy to experience around dusk time. Bring mosquito repellent and/ or long sleeve clothings to avoid them.
And last but definitely not least, perhaps in this case last and best, it is the Festival Finale (Saturday 28th November 4.30-9.30pm; Faulkner Park, Cloverdale). This annual event is eagerly awaited by many families as they would provide an evening of free entertainment: live performances on stage, rides, and other kids activities. Among others, we are going to be entertained by Zap circus, who will bring for us acrobatic, flame, and other special effects shows (be prepared to say no when the kids ask for a flamethrower for Christmas after watching them). There will also be Derek Nannup, the skillful didgeridoo player who are no strangers to entertaining kids (see if you can guess all the animal sounds his didgeridoo makes).
Derek Nannup is an old hand at entertaining and educating kids with his didgeridoo.
There will be more music and dancing on stage while we're waiting for the... drumroll, please... the finale of the finale: the fireworks sponsored by Belmont's neighbour, Perth Airport. A special feature about this fireworks is that it has the fireworks in the sky component, but it also has some which are not fired to the sky but exploding on ground level instead (in a safe gated area, away from the audience), so it's like watching two simultaneous fireworks display at the same time.
If you're a family with young kids, I have one thing to point out and that's the timing of this fireworks is a bit later than usual. Wee Willie Winkie will not be happy to see all the children not in bed after 9pm and your little ones might fall asleep on your picnic rug before the first colourful explosion starts to decorate the sky. In the past, I have seen families expecting fireworks at 8pm (perhaps because Skyworks is generally around that time) and decided to leave when they realised there's at least another hour to wait (and the songs on stage had turned decidedly oldies as the evening grew older, so it wasn't conducive to entertaining pre-schoolers either). What it means for us with young kids is either to come prepared for a looong evening for our young ones or just to come for the first half of the finale where most of the kids entertainment would be concentrated.
As a side note, if you come too early for the Festival Finale event, nothing to worry about as Faulkner Park has one of the funnest playground in Perth Metro area. If you haven't heard of it, perhaps you've heard of the volcano playground instead. Yep, it's one and the same.
Playground in Faulkner Park, volcano in the background.
For more information on Let's Celebrate Belmont Festival, visit the City of Belmont's website.