Last weekend we headed up to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, for the annual winter solstice festival.
Previous years have had good clear sunny winter days, but this year it was bleak, grey, foggy and the rain kept up all day in light splashes.
It was looking very bleak as we reached the outskirts of town:
but it didn't stop the crowds, Katoomba Street was packed:
The Fashion Police were writing tickets for anyone dressed in beige:
The Grand Parade was interesting as always, lots of characters and colours
and bellydancers who didn't look the slightest bit cold
and zombies (there was to be a Zombie Ball that night)
and very cool steampunk
and a very sweet Mad Hatter serving coffee
and this is Bandit in her dragon costume:
I've met up with Bandit over the last three years of festivals, in her outfits, unfortunately her owner thinks this may be her last year as she has leukemia and is not responding to treatment, she is such a lovely patient dog.
There were several local issue groups, one protesting the closure of Katoomba Hospital - the maternity ward has already been closed then re-opened from public pressure then closed again, nearest hospital is Nepean, which is a 45 minute drive away (that's on a good day, with no accidents on the one road out of town which can tie up traffic for hours)
Another issue that we learnt about during the parade was the plan by a developer to install two koalas in a BASEMENT room at the Echo Point tourist centre for photographic and petting opportunities:
I'm going to make another post just about this, it is appalling treatment of our native animals
After the parade, we wandered up and down the street stalls, then headed off home pleased to be leaving the cold wet mountains behind:
Here's my video of part of the parade,