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Plenty of MAGICAL things to see and do in regional areas across the nation on the shortest day of the year this year, so pull on your gloves, pop on your third layer of socks, jump in your car with a hot water bottle down your shirt and hoot along to be inspired at one of these events!

For starters, an estimated 40,000 plus visitors flock to Winter Magic in Katoomba each winter solstice – it sounds like this year will be no exception.

Winter Magic is the Blue Mountains region’s biggest annual event, and one of Australia’s most magical: musicians and magicians, jugglers and gymnasts, choirs, clowns flock to the community and take over Katoomba’s main street.

Now in it's 16th year, Festival Director Warren Ross says it's grown to the point where they can’t squeeze all the fun into one day. “This year we have also introduced a large programme of satellite events. While Saturday 20th June will remain the big day it has always been, we have a number of supporting events that we are particularly proud to host.” Check out the website here!

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Further north in Lismore, a sweet and diverse inland community nestled in the hills and valleys of the beautiful northern rivers region, the annual Lismore Lantern Festival is on again: ‘optimism’ the theme.

As a local, I’m always amazed at the phenomenal amount of passion, dedication and community spirit people put into organising this event, and the amount of community spirit this event evokes: it’s as though the town undergoes a magical kind of transformation.

At Lismore, a “market delight” will be held from 11am til late, showcasing some of the region’s finest local produce, art and cuisine. The big event, the Lantern Parade travels along main streets of the CBD and presses on through the Ceremonial Gates, illuminating the historic buildings of the CBD and surrounding green spaces as it goes.

To highlight the optimism theme, the parade will be led by an amazing flying machine lantern made from recycle bike parts and other materials! Finally all the lantern action comes to an end with a jaw-dropping fire event featuring two firework-breathing dragons on stage this year, attached to two old power poles, both over 12 metres or three stories high, also made from recycled timber. More info here at the Lantern Festival website, and watch this space – I’ll have some great photos from the event to share with you!

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Meantime in far north Queensland, the acclaimed Laura Dance Festival will kick off in Cape York this Saturday, an event which promises to be a memorable spectacle of sound and movement.

This biennial festival, which first started back in the 80s - has grown to become one of the most significant Indigenous cultural events in Australia, showcasing the creative culture of more than 17 local Aboriginal communities from across Cape York and up to nine communities from other areas in North Queensland.

Singing, story-telling, music dance and art are all on the program – all these events promise to be a true feast for the senses for all in attendance! So head along and have a warm and happy, magical and bright winter solstice 2009!

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Posted: Thursday June 18, 2009

Published: Jun 18, 2009 5:58pm by philippa.

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Comments

  • Art for the heart

    Art is good for the heart
    Celebration is good for the soul
    Artitsic soulfulness is good for community
    Long live the arts and celebratory events

    Published Jun 23, 2009 12:11am by gordo

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