Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Winter Magic Festival

dancing and drummingWell, after years of thinking, I should go to one of these things one of these days, I finally bit the bullet and did so. I headed off to the Winter Magic Festival. And I have to say, it was really great.

The official web site appears to have vanished, but I have left a link here in case it returns. There is also a flickr group where I have loaded some of my photos and where there are many other excellent shots.

the kangaroobackstreet artFor me, the day started finding a parking spot and wandering up to the main street. The path was watched over by this stern Kangaroo.

ready, set, leap... Around the corner on the main street was this little creature on the end of a tether. I presume it is a ferret. As I am not experienced at this type of photo, I took several shots, which I was then able to stitch together to show the critter attempting to escape.

the day beginsThe crowd in the main street was surprisingly big. I was expecting a slow start, but obviously the peoples of Katoomba are early risers.

the knight on the way to the start of the parade watched by a small childA sign of things to come, there are knights on stilts wandering the streets, entertaining the locals.

saying hellosafter coffee...I meet up with the Blue Mountains Flicker group. Some of us stop off to have a coffee and breakfast, while others race off to be official photographers and to listen to recorder music.

dancing and drummingThe main parade begins. This first shot is actually of this group heading back down the street after the parade. It was too crowded when they were in the parade itself. The crowd was more like a Tour De France crowd, there was almost not enough room for the parade to pass.

piratesPirates raid Katoomba.

the green peoplesgirls in the paradeThe green people. There is another photo on the flickr site for the festival where they are sitting down like frogs ready to leap.

dancersThe dancers were very energetic.

The knight in the paradeThe knight made his appearance.

skeleton and drag queenThere were skeletons and drag queens.

pagans None of us have been able to work out this fellow. It was actually leading the parade.

A quiet backwaterLater, after the parade there were people resting and having lunch to the sounds of the jazz band.

stall and heaterWalking back down the main street, there are lots of stalls. (Well they were there before, but this time I have time to stop and look and buy.)

The performersThese girls were stopped by the stall keeper and were very bemused and obliging when he wanted to take their photos.

confrontation?They seemed happy when I took this photo, but they look like they are arguing. I am confused.

didgeridooThere were also, lots of performers in the street. This didgeridoo including complete with small amp and electric guitar backing track.

making an animal with balloonsA woman making animals out of balloons.

knight, girls and beerOur knight again. This time he is entertaining some children at the pub. The girls in the front knew he was brave and wanted to know if he was about to head off to save his princess. But he was more interested in posing as a tough guy to the children behind the tree.

dancing in the street with your own musicA bunch of folk dancers with their own music. I was trying to get one of their small pamphlets, but was unable to do so. So I do not know who they were.

passing around the hatA group of children playing the drums. The girl in the front is passing around the hat. I gave some money. She was in this dreamy happy state.

pointing and lookingone of the crowdHappy people were just wandering around the streets of Katoomba.

hello my friendswatchingAt the bottom of the street, I again meet up with the people from brunch. They have gathered some more into their clan and are chatting to every one they meet as they travel down the hill

happysmiling with sunniesThese two shots are from the same photo. I love the reflection in the glasses on the right.

the tree hatthe locals?the maskdragpurple and blueAs I walk down the hill there are as many people, if not more, in the crowd who are part of the festival spirit as there are performers.

the witchA witch.

statuethe titanicAt the top of the hill is the Titanic. Not sure what it is doing here, I was expecting that the next day, there would just be a huge hole in the ground. They say that the hotel is dressed up each year.

man with sticks in front of man with burning hairA man with sticks. In the background is a man with his head on fire. He is part of a union stand on work place relations.

the old manthe photographerThere are photographers everywhere. I was surprised by the number and quality of the cameras. Clearly this is a great place to take photos.

roof top revellersbus stop revellingBut at the end of the day, this is a festival for the locals. And clearly they were having a good time.

discussing lunch optionslookingBack at the top of the hill, I meet the others again and we stop to chat and have lunch.

the pagans
nice hair styleEveryone loved to dress up and have photos taken.

living in the land of the silver peopleEntertaining the tourists.

german shepherdstandoffexhaustedA parade of pets. They were somewhat exhausted and stressed from all the crowds of strange people, not to mention having to wear their best clothes.

The Glove On the way back to the car, a folourn glove, lost.