I drove through the middle of town today and the ferris wheel was being dismantled. The Winter Festival is over for the year. Yesterday was the last day. It has been a resounding success, with apparently about 18,000 tickets sold for the ice skating and about 11,000 tickets for the Ferris Wheel. They reckon around 22,000 people attended the two Saturday Night Parties.
Of course we went along to the second street party a week ago. I did wonder how it would go, having them two weeks in a row, but the crowds were even bigger if anything. I think word got out and a lot of different people joined in. The two events were also quite different.
The weather over the last few weeks has been rather dismal, including the week between the Street Parties. However, both Saturdays were fine. They really were fortunate.
This time we actually got down there in daylight. The Ferris Wheel had a huge line up again, which was good to see.
There were some market stalls this time as well.
The theme for the second week was "Brew and Bite". The format was different from the previous week, with one main bar area. The feature this time was the local brewers and cider makers. All the local vignerons were on one combined stall. I did have to have another glass of the mulled white wine.
The centrepiece of the bar area was an ice bar......made out of ice.
Whereas the first week had a demonstration of figure skating on the ice rink, this time there were two exhibition ice hockey games. To make it easy for everyone to see, they had a big screen.
Music featured again, with some great performers. You've got to love the chandelier on the stage.
The canopy of lights created a great atmosphere.
A feature of the festival was, once again, the illumination of buildings. I unfortunately didn't get a photo of the Courthouse this time.
I loved the illuminations on the side of the "Church Bar" in Ribbon Gang Lane. School kids from the local primary schools had made the designs. They were so varied and so effective.
The overall effect of the night lights was rather stunning.
There were groups of these coloured cubes all over the place and the kids had great fun moving them around, building things with them and climbing all over them. Such a simple thing.
The overall theme this year was "Fire and Ice". We were mesmerised by this lady fire twirler. So clever.
And then, before we knew it, it was 9pm and all over. We didn't even get to have a go on the silent disco or another ride on the Ferris Wheel. As with the previous events everyone looked to be having a great time and everyone we talked to commented on what a great community feel there was about the event. Bathurst Council has certainly hit on a winner. Here's hoping that it can be maintained as an annual event.