Walking into Ryan’s Hotel at Thirroul was like stepping into a timewarp on Sunday, as the spirit of the 1950s and '60s was kept alive by a band of dedicated fans.
The Rock n’ Vintage Roll festival was a hotbed of pompadour haircuts, pencil skirts, hot rods and tattoos, with hundreds of rockabilly fans turning out for a full day of entertainment.
Market stalls, rock’n’roll dancing, blues bands and throwback outfits provided a feast for the eyes as the festival took over the entire hotel complex, back garden and car park.
‘‘It has been an exceptional turn out. We expected maybe 300, but we have had more than 800 people at least,’’ said event organiser Elaine Stewart.
‘‘The bands have been a big attraction. There’s people from Sydney, Canberra, all over the place.’’
Dozens of vintage hot rods lined up in the car park, a rainbow of colours from pastel to pink glitter, lipstick red to bubblegum and gold.
The Illawarra’s growing retro culture community came out in force, with rows of vintage clothing retailers offering up classic shirts, hairpins, brooches and jackets.
An Elvis impersonator wandered through the crowds as a lively rock’n’roll band played inside to the delight of a handful of enthusiastic dancers.
‘‘There is a big culture here, and a real market for this sort of thing now,’’ Ms Stewart said.
Ms Stewart confirmed the event would return on the first weekend of November, alongside the Miss Picture Perfect pin-up model contest in a two-day celebration of all things vintage.
See facebook.com/rvrfestival for more information.