Spring festival goes off
THE Bright Spring Festival reached its climax last weekend, with an evening of music, food, carnival rides, fire twirlers and fireworks at Pioneer Park on Saturday evening.
Hundreds of people packed onto the football oval for an evening of long-weekend-style fun and feasting, old-school paying-for-things-with-actual-money and bumping into friends and schoolmates.
Families lounged about on picnic rugs, drank from plastic wine glasses and hacked into blocks of cheese while kids ran around like meerkats, ducking and weaving between groups of people and camping chairs.
When the sun went down and with the sounds of carnival rides whirring in the background, fire twirlers drew a huge crowd gathered in a ring.
After dark the temperature dropped, but no one seemed too bothered. People hugged their chests, cheered another glass of wine, and kids ran faster and danced harder once the band on the back of a truck started up, filling the ring of people and food tents with music and energy.
Lines in front of the food tents never shortened, and endless parcels of Indian food, crepes, sausages in bread, paella, and even escargot were handed over.
At 9pm the band unplugged and the floodlights were shut off for the fireworks.
With the pyrotechnics being shot from the oval only 50 metres in front of the crowd, the fireworks exploded overhead and gave the appearance of the coloured embers raining down directly on top of the crowd, and many people lay flat on their back on the grass to watch.
The show itself was spectacular, and drew applause from the crowd at the end when the words ‘30 Years’ where lit up in fiery sparkles, commemorating the achievement of a small committee to generate such energy in a certain town at a certain time of year, every year.
If there was a moment for all those involved to feel satisfied with what had been achieved, that would have been it.
Also straddling the weekend was the Bright Oktoberfest.
The oompah-pah haus bands blew out merry tunes as crowds of hundreds stepped and swayed their way into the beer hall tent in Centenary Park, spilling out on plastic tables and chairs by the river with a relaxed Sunday-afternoon lethargy only a long weekend could permit.
While the beer kegs were rolled away for another year, the Spring Festival pressed on, and the Rotary Market took over Ireland Street on Monday morning with over a hundred stalls.
The 2018 festival wrapped up on Tuesday with final open gardens and art walks.