Call for Wollongong to get in festival mood

The Viva La Gong Festival parades through the streets of Wollongong in November 2013. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

The Viva La Gong Festival parades through the streets of Wollongong in November 2013. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

Wollongong City Council is calling on Illawarra performers, artists, stallholders and creatives to bolster the ranks of the 2014 Viva La Gong festival.

After the 2013 event won the Developing Arts and Culture award for Festivals and Events at the Local Government Arts and Culture Awards in May, Viva La Gong will return on November 8.

Sue Savage, the council's community and cultural development manager, said she expected the 2014 event to outstrip last year's attendance of 25,000 people.

"This is a festival for locals to enjoy, not just to attract visitors to the town. It's for our community to enjoy living in Wollongong," Ms Savage said.

The council is calling for residents to lend their talents to the festival in whatever capacity they are able - from musicians and dancers, to artists and food producers, down to volunteers for preparation and organisation on the day.

Ms Savage said the first planning meeting was on Friday, but already a big focus was on expanding the festival's street parade.

Ms Savage also paid tribute to the work of those involved in the 2013 festival, attributing the award win to a community effort.

"It was a great acknowledgement of the work our team did, the volunteers and performers and everyone," she said. "The award was for our work developing arts and culture through festivals, and we are hoping to do that better this year."

For more information, see wollongong.nsw.gov.au.

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