A dose of winter weather failed to dampen spirits at Wollongong’s MacCabe Park on Saturday as hundreds of people turned out for the city’s annual Viva La Gong festivities.
Crowds eagerly wolfed down plates of gozleme, chorizo, dumplings and souvlaki while watching everything from bobbin lace-making and cheerleading to percussion and rock.
Despite the cool breeze and patchy showers that threatened for most of the day, the park was buzzing with families, couples and friends, browsing craft displays or showing off their own artistic flair.
Circus workshops were popular with kids who walked the tight-rope, tried on costumes and tested their hoola-hooping skills.
Dozens of children also enjoyed making their own pet rocks and creating pottery jewellery, using paint, glue and thread to make a one-of-a-kind piece.
Parents got the chance to chill out with some meditation before heading to the Folk Festival Lounge.
In the big top were shows from Circus Monoxide, Shakespeare’s Fantasia and Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo. The round stage hosted Illawarra musicians performing doo-wop, soul and indie hits.
The Songworld Choir, who performed on the main stage in the morning, were a favourite. Dozens watched kids from Cringila, Coniston, Bulli and Helensburgh Public Schools perform songs from across the globe.
The morning street parade was also popular, as people lined the streets to cheer representatives from the Nan Tien Temple, Circus Wow, Illawarra Ukulele Club and the roller derby.