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] It will next be held on 22 June 2019.[2] The 2019 festival will not have a parade but will instead focus on community arts and performance.[3] The Winter Magic Festival has the highest profile and is the most anticipated of Blue Mountains' annual events. The festival has been going for 25 years and has always been organised by volunteers, under community ownership. The Blue Mountains is New South Wales' first City of the Arts and Katoomba is the heart of that city. On Winter Magic weekend 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 main street to become a performance space. The streets are lined with market stalls, available spaces are converted to music and performance stages, and everybody who attends is encouraged to dress in costume.

Katoomba Winter Magic has a strong local focus and very wide general appeal. In 2018 the festival went into hiatus after organisers concluded the festival could not continue in its current form.[4]. The Winter Magic Festival Association will relaunch Winter Magic on 22 June 2019.[5]


John Ellison, then 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.[6]

In 2014 the festival attracted approximately 30,000 visitors.[7] By 2016, the festival was attracting up to 50,000 visitors.[8]


  1. ^ a b Walton, Elizabeth. "Satan's messenger or man of magic?". Words and Pictures. Elizabeth Walton. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  2. ^ Winter Magic Festival Association,, accessed 2 May 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Jennie Curtin, 'No Winter Magic for this year', Blue Mountains Gazette, 8 February 2018,, accessed 2 May 2018.
  5. ^ Winter Magic Festival Association, 'Winter Magic Back in 2019',, accessed 2 May 2018.
  6. ^ Ross, Warren. "Winter Magic Festival - in the beginning". General History. Katoomba Waltz. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Blue Mountains - Winter Magic Festival - Pack your fairy wings". NSW Holiday Ideas - Blue Mountains. National Roads and Motorists' Association Limited. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  8. ^

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