Dozens of people were lined up at the door at 9am on Saturday waiting to get into the first of two days at Illawarra's biggest annual LEGO brick show.
By midday thousands had flocked to Illawarra Sports Stadium at Berkeley to see more than 100 tables of custom-built LEGO displays.
There was everything from Star Wars space ships and characters to majestic architecture and even a piano.
The fourth annual Illawarra Brick Show was organised by Gonglug, a local group of Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOL) who enjoy putting on LEGO exhibitions around NSW for charity.
The Berkeley event is one of the largest in Australia and draws interest from LEGO builders around Australia and the world.
All money raised from the thousands of visitors goes to the Kidzwish Foundation.
Prior to this year the annual event had raised more than $72,000 for the Illawarra children's charity.
Gonglug has also donated thousands of LEGO packs to hand out at the KidzWish Christmas Party.
Gill Abdilla, of Canberra, was among more than 30 master builders from NSW and the ACT who travelled to Wollongong to showcase their LEGO brick building skills.
Mrs Abdilla enjoyed seeing the looks of amazement on so many children's faces as she showcased here 2m long,1m high and 1.5m wide LEGO construction of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
"I have been building it for about 14 months in my lounge room," she said.
"It breaks down into 41 pieces so I could transport it here.
"I've been building LEGO for about five years to showcase at different shows.
"For me I love being able to take what I envision in my head and actually making it a reality in LEGO.
"Then I love being able to showcase it to kids and see them get really excited about it.
"I always have something moving on my display and this one has a moving train."
Mrs Abdulla said she is already planning something from Lord Of The Rings for next year.
She said the Illawarra Brick Show was the highlight of the year for LEGO builders in Australia.
"We love it. I wouldn't miss it. The community feel and enthusiastic crowd makes it a great show for exhibitors to come to for a weekend," she said.
"We haven't been able to do a show since this time last year."
Gonglug founder Graham Draper has played with LEGO since he was five years old and got together with other local enthusiasts five years ago to organise such events.
The first one in Wagga Wagga raised $15,000 for kids with cancer and they have been held all over the state since then.
Mr Draper said it was great to be able to bring such an exciting event to the community and see so many people of all ages in attendance. Especially after the year of uncertainty that was 2020.
Mr Draper said it was also great to be able raised funds to help KidzWish provide vital services to local families with a need.
"This gets bigger and bigger every year and this year we sold more pre-sale tickets (4200) than we had in attendance last year," he said.
"We are just blown away. We have raised $72,000 for KidzWish during the last three years and we are expecting to break the $100,000 mark this year.
"The first year we had 21 exhibitors at the Illawarra Brick Show and this year we have 46."
Fundraising and events manager Renee Hawira said during the last 12 months KidzWish had focused on growing therapy assisted programs including the introduction of a siblings group and parent support service.
"These programs are dedicated to increase the support we provide to the family unit," she said.
"Funds raised through our community fundraising go directly to these programs. We couldn't do what we do without the support of organisations like Gonglug."
Mr Draper said last year's show was held a week before the COVID-19 lockdown in NSW and there has basically been nothing since.
Which is one of the reasons for the record amount of interest this year.
"We have exhibitors from as far as Melbourne and five from Brisbane," he said.
Tickets via TryBooking, or at the door.
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