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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Travel: Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba (lots of photos)

After raining all night, the day dawned with another thick fog and we were in two minds whether to head off up the mountains to what looked like being a cold bleak day, but by the time we crossed the Nepean River we had left the fog in Sydney and the mountains were clear and sunny and a brisk 10 degrees C.

The Winter Magic Festival celebrates the winter solstice each year, in a true hippy pagan heaven.

There's more pictures from other festival goers at the Flickr Winter Magic Festival page

By the time we arrived the main street was packed, with the scent of patchouli in the air and the soft swish of lots of panne velvet.

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006
Yes, all those little dots spreading up the hill of Katoomba Street are people, we joined the throng and shuffled our way along the street stalls.

Just reached the top of the street as the crowd parted and the parade started.
The lovely thing about this festival is the participation by who ever wants to dress up and join in - there were lots of families, old and young.
We were surprised to see some friends dressed up and in the parade, didn't get a photo and couldn't find them later in the crush.

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006
Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006
Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 20096

there were stormtroopers

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

and a bear raising money to free captive bears in asia

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

there were lots of dragon fly motifs, because the Blue Mountains is home to the endangered Giant Dragonfly - petalura gigantea and the push is on to try and save it - (it's survived 190 million years, but good old mankind and his urban development is about to wipe it out)

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

don't know who this was, but guessing, being a solstice festival, he's probably the horned god
Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

These young green frogs hopped all the way up Katoomba Street

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

while this little viking took the easy way on dad's shoulders

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

the socialists were all dressed up to plot John Howards' downfall

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

there were big mermaids:

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

and little mermaids:

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

there were little fairy princesses

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

and big fairy princesses

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

some had lots of panne velvet

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

and others just had a smidgeon

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

there were witches in black

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

and witches in purple

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

and witches with drums

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

this was a float in the parade - don't ask me to explain why an animal of indeterminate breed (wearing his pj's) is on a surfboard atop a two headed snail - I guess you had to be there when the planning committee met.

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

Lots of stilt walkers in the parade, and coming up behind this one you can make out the bright pink and green feathers belonging to....

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

...well, you tell me who!! "Her" feathers stretched right across the road and we all had to duck them as "she" passed. Would have loved a full on photo but it was impossible in the crowd.

It seemed everyone had their dog with them, most dressed for the day - there were big dogs

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

and little dogs

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

and some just hoping that mum will take them home soon, before their friends from puppy preschool see them in this getout

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

After the parade had passed, we again joined the shuffle to the Carrington Hotel area were we watched the most fantastic performance by tribal dancers and drummers , "Hands, Heart and Feet" from Blue Mountains Drum and Dance group

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

the girls danced for ages, individually and together, so much energy! then these three young boys took over

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

and then the guys in the group showed what they could do

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

we wandered up and down the street a couple more times, met people we knew, (what a small place Sydney is!) stopped for soup and chicken focaccio then watched the gypsy dancers

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

At the other end of town were folk dancers dancing to an irish sounding jig, having a great time but seeming subdued after the tribal dancers
Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006
As we watched them dance, I thought they had a sort of 'cult' look to them, then saw their food stall later and realised they were from the Peppercorn Creek Farm which sounds all warm and fuzzy but hasn't always had the best press

By late afternoon the main street looked like it had even more people in it than in the morning

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

We had shuffled up and down several times, bought a leather belt for him and a silver dragonfly necklet for me so decided that was enough for the day.

On the way back to the car we passed some of the old mountain houses that I drool over

Katoomba NSW

Katoomba NSW

Katoomba NSW

and then a last stop at a lookout as the fog started to settle in the valley and off home

Winter Magic Festival, Katoomba 2006

7 comments:

Kelvin said...

Kia Ora (Hello) from across the ditch. Lots of photos ??? You weren't kidding !!! They are great. I have mentioned your blog on my blog Around The World In 80 Blogs as it is worth sharing.

Erica said...

thank you Kelvin, that's nice of you, looking forward to seeing more of your world tour

Alice said...

And a very good time was had by all. In fact, it looks like everyone in New South Wales was there.

Alice said...

Erica - what program do you use to load your photos? I'm impressed by their size.

Erica said...

Alice, I use a small resolution on the camera to start with, then I edit them in Paint Shop Pro which has a very easy resize facility, I just resize them all to 500 pixels in width (the height stays in proportion automatically) even though they were rather small in kbs to start with, this reduces them even more so I have quite a viewable pic for a small no. of bytes.
You could probably do the same in any edit programme, I've had Paint Shop for a long time and am used to it. Most pics like these I just take for the web - if I know I'm going to print then I set the camera higher.

Anonymous said...

Hi

You have some great photographs here. Do you mind if we use some of them on the Winter Magic website. We'd be happy to credit you if you gave us a name:

Regards
Warren Ross
President
Winter Magic 2006

suze said...

this is a weird world this blog world. I just did a search for Katoomba and happened across a photo of me marching in the parade at winter magic. Classic. Thanks.