WHAT A WEEKEND!
GEELONG will be illuminated with light and colour when White Night descends on the city for the first time tonight.
More than 60,000 people are expected to flock to Geelong for the inaugural local event that has previously lit up Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo.
White Night veteran artistic director David Atkins said Geelong’s maritime history would be central to tonight’s performance — with light shows, entertainment, music and projections stretching along Johnstone Park, the waterfront, Cunningham Pier and Geelong’s laneways.
“White Night has a history of drawing big crowds. There is so much for people to take in because of the cross-section of entertainment and artworks. The library is open, the gallery is open, the courthouse is open and all those places have activities,” Mr Atkins said.
Mr Atkins said Geelong would be abuzz with DJs, music and an eclectic mix of performances by drag queens and local artists.
“We’ve got this huge animated insect, we’ve got gorgeous small performance pieces ... there is a really incredible cross section that people can experience,” Mr Atkins said.
“There is a wishing tree where people can write messages, there is the Leap of Faith installation, activation with lights, creatures and illuminated animals and there’s a neon dog park.”
Mr Atkins recommended White Night goers start their journey of light and colour at the foreshore end of Gheringhap St or Moorabool St.
“Gheringhap St becomes the spine and there are quite a few activities along Gheringhap St including at the Gordon TAFE,” Mr Atkins said.
He said attendees who had visited White Nights could expect a different experience in Geelong.
“The projections are going to be very different here because the work is informed by Geelong,” Mr Atkins said.
“All the work at the back of the gallery is featuring works from the Archibald Prize, wile the side of town hall is projecting old maps of Geelong. All the bands are local and all the performance sides are very specific to Geelong.”
Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood said the city’s accommodation and restaurants were close to capacity ahead of an events-packed weekend.
“White Night is set to be an extraordinary event for Geelong. From what I’ve seen of the set up so far, this will be one event you don’t want to miss,” Cr Harwood said.
“It’s fantastic for the Greater Geelong community that we are attracting major events like this and I’m sure the city will be abuzz.”
ABOUT 15,000 people are expected to bask in the weekend sunshine at the annual Birregurra festival.
Two of the town’s main streets will be closed between 10am and 5pm today and tomorrow as organisers have a series of performers ready to treat the crowds.
“People can come with $20 in their pocket and have a great time,” event organiser Vicki Jeffrey said.
Geelong-based band The Kite Machine, Children’s group The Mik Maks and This Way North will play on the festival’s main stage across the weekend.
Ms Jeffrey said stilt walkers, a chainsaw sculptor and more than 300 pieces of art would be on show.
The acrobatics of more than 50 dogs will be on show as they whiz their way around a course and the animal nursery are expected to be crowd favourites.
Festival organisers will also be selling raffle tickets that will give the public a chance to win a dinner for two at the Brae restaurant or a $500 basket of local produce.
The festival will raise funds for Birregurra’s preschool, primary school and football club. Details www.birregurrafestival.com
The neon art of Carla O’Brien will form part of Geelong’sNight displays.
Krazy Koala (Nic Dacomb) and his puppet Gruff will be part of the festivities.