Winter Magic Festival

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Busy Katoomba Street during the Winter Magic Festival 2005

The Winter Magic Festival is a community festival celebrated around the Winter solstice in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia since 1994.[1]

Of all Blue Mountains annual events, the Winter Magic Festival has the highest profile and is the most anticipated. The Blue Mountains is NSW inaugural City of the Arts and Katoomba is the heart of that city. It is the weekend when artists, musicians, dancers, drummers, choirs and community take over one of Australia's most famous towns.

During the event, the main street of Katoomba is closed to motor traffic and open to pedestrian traffic. This allows the whole town to become a performance space. The streets are lined with market stalls and everybody who attends is encouraged to dress in costume.

Unlike many Festivals run by Chambers of Commerce and Councils, this event is run by the community. It has a strong local focus and very wide general appeal. The setting is a town sitting on a narrow ridge and bound north and south by a World Heritage listed National Park.


John Ellison, an upper mountains artist and Cultural Development Coordinator with Blue Mountains City Council, following an invitation from the local Chamber of Commerce to revitalize Christmas in July, created and opened the Winter Magic Festival in 1994.[1] The inaugural event attracted 2,000 visitors.[2]

The festival now attracts approximately 30,000 visitors.[3]


  1. ^ a b Walton, Elizabeth. "Satan's messenger or man of magic?". Words and Pictures. Elizabeth Walton. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Ross, Warren. "Winter Magic Festival - in the beginning". General History. Katoomba Waltz. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Blue Mountains - Winter Magic Festival - Pack your fairy wings". NSW Holiday Ideas - Blue Mountains. National Roads and Motorists' Association Limited. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 

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