30 January 2023

Nine things to do in Wagga this weekend (20 - 22 May)

| Anna Maskus
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Aboriginal Elders teach children

Don’t miss the first-ever festival in the region held to honour and celebrate the culture of the Wiradjuri peoples of Narrungdera. Photo: Pure Dreams Photography.

There is something for everyone this weekend – dogs, art, theatre, award-winning authors, Indigenous cultural experiences, aeroplane displays, live music, food… the list goes on.

Fitzmaurice Street comes alive once again this weekend as Fitz Fest returns for its second year.

Adventurers can head to Narrandera, Holbrook or Temora for a day out or stay local and explore all the city offers.

All Weekend

Logo for event Rock of Ages

The jukebox musical features music from many famous glam metal bands of the 1980s. Image: WWCT.

Mater Dei Catholic College presents Rock Of Ages

When: Friday 20 May, 7 pm and Saturday 21 May, 7 pm (more shows from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 May)
Where: Wagga Civic Theatre
Cost: Adult $30, Concession $25, Student $22, Child $22 (rated PG-13) and Family (2 adults and 2 children) $85.

Rock of Ages is a rags-to-riches musical featuring hits from the biggest rock ‘n’ roll stars of the 1980s, like Def Leppard, Journey, Foreigner, Guns N’ Roses, Joan Jett, Bon Jovi, Poison Twisted Sister and many more.

After arriving in Hollywood, Sherri, an aspiring but naivë singer from the Midwest, immediately finds herself in hot water. Drew, a bartender at The Bourbon Room, an iconic club on the LA Strip, comes to her rescue. The young lovers are drawn together by their dreams of being rockstars, but an encounter with rock god Stacee Jaxx threatens to tear them apart. When German developers roll into town planning to turn the prestigious Strip into a soulless shopping mall, can Drew, Sherri and the gang save the Strip – and their love story – before it’s too late?

A Border Collie stays focused on a trio of Angus steers at the Holbrook Working Dog Trials

A border collie stays focused on a trio of Angus steers during last year’s trials. Photo: BJT Livestock Photography Wagga.

Holbrook Working Dog Trials

When: Friday 20 May, from 7:30 am and Saturday 21 May, from 7:30 am
Holbrook Equine Centre
Cost: Free entry.

Animal lovers can take a day trip to Holbrook to watch some of the Riverina and Murray’s most talented trainers present their best dogs for trial and auction at the annual Holbrook Working Dog Trials. The dogs show off their skills working with both cattle and sheep, competing for big prizes awarded on the day. Food and entertainment are provided, so round up the family and have a great day out learning how essential our furry friends are to the region’s farmers.

For those interested in purchasing a working dog, the event is followed by an auction day on Sunday, live-streamed on the Stocklive website. Pre works kick off at 10 am on Sunday 22 May followed by the auction from 1 pm.

Play flyer

Stunning visual design and puppetry bring magic and life to the characters’ stories in Black Sun / Blood Moon. Image: Critical Stages Touring.

Black Sun / Blood Moon

When: Friday 20 May, 10 am and 7 pm and Saturday 21 May, 7 pm
CSU Riverina Playhouse
Cost: $25 Subscriber, Group 4+ $22, or School Group $20. Book tickets here.

A play presented by Critical Stages Touring, Black Sun / Blood Moon follows two unlikely heroes as they set out to save the planet. The award-winning Chris Bendall directs his new play inspired by the #FridaysForFuture school strike movement with a fantastical twist.

When 10-year-old Maddy is inspired by her father to participate in a school climate strike, their lives are turned upside down irrevocably. Maddy’s quest to fix the climate crisis becomes increasingly risky as she partners with Katie, the timid assistant of a climate-denying politician. Black Sun / Blood Moon is a theatre experience for the entire family to learn how we can find a solution to the mess we’ve made with hope, determination and a little bit of magic.

Festival poster

This is the first-ever festival in the region held to honour and celebrate the culture of the Wiradjuri peoples of Narrungdera (Narrandera). Image: NEF Committee.

Narrungdera Earth Fest

When: Open community event Friday 20 May, 10 am – 1 pm and Saturday 21 May, 10 am – 5 pm, ticketed experiences Sunday 22 May, 9 – 11 am
Various locations surrounding Narrandera – see event program here
Cost: Free entry to Friday and Saturday events, ticketed Sunday event prices available here.

A Building Better Regions Fund grant to Narrandera Shire Council has resulted in an exciting new festival. The inaugural Narrungdera Earth Fest is an Indigenous Australian event, the first of its kind in the region.

Narrandera Fisheries, Koori’s Beach, Rocky Waterholes, showground and other civic venues will be the backdrop for the three-day festival.

Music, dance, traditional food markets, artist workshops, traditional sporting events and a cooking demonstration from celebrity chef Mark Olive are just a few of the events on offer for the public. Head down to Narrandera and hop on the Lion’s train for a tour of all the festival offers.


Gala dinner flyer

Bookworms who haven’t read Alice Pung’s acclaimed novel still have time before Friday night’s gala. Photo: OBOW.

One Book One Gala Dinner

When: Friday 20 May, 6:45 pm – 10 pm
The Gardens Cafe & Function Centre, Wagga Botanic Gardens
Cost: $65 pp. (includes three-course dinner), buy tickets here.

Wagga’s biggest book club comes together on Friday night for one of their most spectacular Gala nights yet. Award-winning author and Medal of the Order of Australia (service to literature) recipient Alice Pung appears in conversation for one night only at Wagga’s Botanic Gardens to discuss her latest novel, One Hundred Days.

The book examines the relationship between sixteen-year-old Karuna and her over-protective mother. When the headstrong teenager falls pregnant, her mother locks her into their fourteenth-storey housing-commission flat – partly to keep her safe from the outside world and partly to keep the outside world safe from her. A battle between mother and daughter ensues. Join Alice for a night of in-depth conversation about writing, control, family and love.


A Spitfire plane in flight

A Spitfire soars above the crowd at the Museum’s May showcase last year. Photo: RAAF via Temora Aircraft Museum.

Temora Aviation Museum’s Aircraft Showcase

When: Saturday 21 May, gates open 10 am
Temora Aviation Museum
Cost: Adult (17-64) $30, Seniors (65+) $25, Child (3-16) $15, Children under three free, Family (two adults, two children) $75. Buy tickets here.

Get right up close to the action at Temora as the Aviation Museum puts on its annual show that will delight the whole family. Tickets include flying displays demonstrating the aircraft’s capabilities, informative commentary and music, interviews with pilots and veterans, children’s activities, an engineering workshop tour and the much-loved pilot meet and greet.

The Mess Hall and local food vendors will be serving up a selection of freshly made treats and beverages, with barista coffee also available. If a picnic under the Museum’s shaded seating areas is more your speed, pack your lunch and watch Australia’s aviation heritage roar to life.

Bowls of pasta

Enjoy the best local chefs and producers at Pastorale’s Pasta Club – now on Saturdays. Photo: Pastorale by Meccanico.

Pasta Club by Pastorale

When: Saturday 21 May, 12 pm – 1:30 pm
Pastorale, Cnr of Tarcutta St & Sturt St
Cost: $55 pp, bookings essential; secure your table here.

Pastorale’s popular Tuesday night exclusive runs over the weekend for the first time. Your booking includes an antipasto board, house-made pasta and a cocktail of your choice, made by some of the region’s best chefs from locally sourced produce.

Bookings are essential as they’re sure to fill up fast, so get your friends together and enjoy an extra special Saturday brunch at one of Wagga’s newest fine dining establishments.

Festival flyer

Last year’s festival was such a success that Fitz Fest is back for 2022. Image: Fitz Fest.

Fitz Fest 2022

When: Saturday 21 May, from 10 am until late
Fitzmaurice Street, various venues; see list of performances here
Cost: Free entry.

Building on the success of last year, Fitz Fest organisers have put together an incredible day showcasing local musical talent. Running from 10 am until the wee hours of Sunday morning, lovers of all music genres are sure to find a gig they love – and may be surprised by what they find.

Meander between some of the best venues on Fitzmaurice Street, grab a bite, a coffee or a cocktail and settle in. Hit the link above to see the full array of venues and artist lineup.


Budding artist or just out to try something new, head to the Nest Studio Collective workshop. Image: Nest Studio Collective Facebook.

Art Workshop by Nest Studio Collective

When: Sunday 22 May, 2 pm – 4 pm
Wagga Beach
Cost: Free (bring your phone or tablet).

Head to Wagga Beach on Sunday with your phone or tablet for an afternoon of fun.

This workshop is brought to you by the four local women who created a vibrant, inclusive and supportive community for the Riverina’s emerging artists to become more confident in their creative process – Nest Studio Collective.

The workshop centres around the theme ‘Self and Surroundings’ to connect with the local community through art and shared experiences. The girls provide the goods; you provide the ideas.

Gig Guide

Check out Fitz Fest on Saturday for lots of intimate gigs from local artists, but Wagga’s pubs and clubs will still be packed with DJs and bands for those who want to let their hair down. If you’re still raring to go on Sunday night, you can head to Birdhouse for tunes until 9 pm.

DJ Tigerlily on the decks

DJ Tigerlily (Dara Hayes) has previously performed at multiple venues in Wagga, including Uni Night @ The Crow Bar, and she returns to Playground Nightclub on Friday night. Photo: DJ Tigerlily.

  • DJ Tigerlily @ Playground Nightclub – 9 pm to late. Get tickets here
  • Spellchcek @ Junee Hotel – 6:30 pm
  • Aaron Oldaker @ Wagga RSL – 7 pm
  • One Shot Too Many @ Union – 9.30 pm to 1 am.
  • Fitz Fest @ Fitzmaurice Street venues – 10 am to 1 am Sunday. To see a complete list of artists and venues, click here
  • Toby Mobbs @ Riverina Hotel – 6 pm
  • Death by Carrot @ Tumut River Brewing Co. – 7 pm
  • Spaul St. @ Wagga RSL – 7:30 pm
  • Mobes @ Tolland Hotel – 8 pm
  • Deja Groove @ Rules Club – 8 pm
  • Spellchcek @ Red Steer – 8 pm
  • Joe Blow Band @ Union – 9.30 pm to 1 am.
  • 19-Twenty @ Tumut River Brewing Co. – 3 pm – 6 pm
  • TBC @ Birdhouse – 6 pm – 9 pm.

Have we missed anything? Want to make sure your band is included in the Gig Guide? Let us know: [email protected]

Original Article published by Anna Maskus on About Regional.

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