9 June 2024

Wagga set to become a winter wonderland during Festival of W

| Jarryd Rowley
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The Festival of W returns this July with several of its most popular attractions, including the Mandylights light show and the ice-skating rink. Photo: Adam Drummond.

With the Festival of W now in its third year, Wagga has become the place to be during the colder months.

Beginning Saturday 6 July and running through to Sunday 21 July, many, including Wagga Wagga City Council’s events officer Emma Corbett, can’t wait for the festival to return.

“Last year’s footfall during the festival period demonstrated that the Festival of W is a firm favourite on the major events calendar in our city and surrounds,” Ms Corbett said.

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“The event attracted more than 120,000 attendees in 2023 – residents and visitors to the city in to experience the wonder of a festival that activates the city during what is traditionally a quieter winter period.

“The increased visitation in the CBD area over the festival period activates the city and has strong flow-on economic benefits for many tourism, hospitality and retail businesses.

“We’re so pleased to be able to bring the festival back in 2024 with the incredible Lightvision display in collaboration with the creative producers from Mandylights.”

Mandylights’ incredible light show during the 2023 Festival of W was a fan favourite, attracting many people from far and wide to see the First Nations-themed design.

The Indigenous theme will return for a new show in 2024 with local artist Sarah Levett helping Mandylights design the show. The light show will run through the duration of the 16-day festival from 5 to 10 pm each night.

Festivalgoers can also experiment with playful, immersive art displays, enjoy live music and food offerings, and, of course, the return of the ever-popular Skate Wagga Wagga ice rink.

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“We’re also pleased to present House of FoW, the festival dining hub, which this year is run by local culinary specialist Jamie Shepley and his team behind Mr Lawrence’s foodery,” Ms Corbett said.

“We have great local businesses that will also be able to open their doors to patrons during the festival; we are fortunate that it is in a really great spot, positioned within the CBD.

“The Festival of W is really something that you can come and view with your family and experience and then once you’ve finished up, you can enjoy some of the local establishments that are close by to the festival.”

This year House of FoW will be located in the Victory Memorial Gardens next to the popular ice-skating rink and will feature warming food and drinks, live music and fire buckets where people can sit and enjoy the full festival atmosphere.

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