Artists, musicians and dancers are set to take over the town of Katoomba once again for the annual Winter Magic Festival, now in its 24th year. The main street will be closed, allowing for one huge performance space with a number of stages providing entertainment for the whole family.
A load of activities are planned with some interesting workshops whilst market stalls feature along the sides of the street and art abounds as part of the Art Street competition. This year's theme for the colourful Winter Magic Festival is Gaia – Our Winter, Our Magic, Our Connection (to Mother Earth).
Buskers Breaky Competition
Kicking off at 9am, local buskers will perform 1-3 songs each on the stage at The Family Hotel (15 Parke St). Under 18's can register as well as long as they're accompanied by a parent or guardian.
This First Nations dance company of Aboriginal dancers have performed across New South Wales as well as interstate and overseas, bringing their culture in traditional and contemporary dances inspired by the Blue Mountains and Central NSW West country.
They will perform as part of the Welcome to Country ceremony (from 10.10am), respecting and honouring the Darug, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri peoples as the traditional custodians of the land on which they dance.
As always, the parade at lunchtime is a favourite and over 500 colourful participants dress up for this fun street event that includes puppets and the use of all sorts of props. Local community groups are encouraged to apply and you can too. Individuals are welcome to join legendary Tom the Pom's Drumming and Samba group that includes a pre-parade workshop showing you some simple rhythms, with instruments provided free of charge.
This workshop, run by International clown teacher Naree Shields, allows children to explore the art of clowning, craft a clown routine and perform it. The journey will provide techniques and tricks that clowns use to delight, amuse and confound audiences.
For 6-12 year olds, it costs $32 and runs from 9.30am in the dining room at Civic Place before a short piece is performed on the main stage at 12.30pm. All clown props, costumes, wigs and red noses are supplied by The Arcade Circus.
One for the adults, this workshop will have you learning basic aerial art techniques whilst looking out onto the wonderful views of the Jamison Valley.
Held at Katoomba Cultural Centre's workshop room (30 Parke St), two session times are available – 10am to 11.30am and 12.30pm to 2.00pm. Cost is $30 per session plus booking fee. If this is something you're keen on, tickets can be purchased here.
Magical Tricks & Secrets – The Magician's Trade Workshop
Having worked as a magician, entertainer and workshop facilitator for over ten years, Daryl Philips knows his stuff and you can now watch him in action and learn some tricks of the trade.
If you love magic too, see him in the Civic Place dining room form 3.30pm to 5.00pm for $20 (plus booking fee). Reserve your magical spot here.
After reforming in 2006, Dragon have played well over 12,000 songs that include classic 70's hits like April Sun in Cuba and Are You Old Enough?. The band, now headed by Todd Hunter (the only original band member left), are about to rock it out on the main stage to new and old generations of adoring fans.
Joining Todd on bass are Mark Williams on vocals, Bruce Reid on guitar and Pete Drummond on drums and you can catch them from 6.45pm.
Apart from the main stage, you'll also find the Baroque Stage with a mix of country pop, fusion pop, old time bluegrass country, cheeky ukulele and the darker modal sounds of old Ireland; The Metropole Cabaret & Burlesque Stage (adults only) with raunchy satire, hoopla, song and music; and The Avalon Jazz Corner where you can soak up the sophisticated sounds of jazz in a cosy atmosphere.
A Kid's Zone, sponsored by Scenic World, will see children enjoying face painting and games of giant chess amongst other going ons.
The festival will go out with a bang in a display of fabulous fireworks lighting up the sky and closing the event. Head to the website for the full list of what's on before heading to the Mountains for all the magic and fun of the fair.