Labour Day weekend is coming up in Melbourne, Australia, and they are getting ready to celebrate with the Moomba Festival. Moomba has been going on for almost 60 years and is a celebration of the city of Melbourne itself. The festival originated with the first visit from the reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II in 1954. It has since then exploded to become one of the biggest festivals in Australia, all the while striving to keep its mandate as a “festival for the people”.
Last year the Moomba Festival attracted a whopping 1 million people to Melbourne to partake in the fun. The festival lasts 4 days and hosts fun activities for the whole family; circus shows, face painting, puppetry, skate, scooter and BMX competitions, free live music and the colourful Moomba parade – just to name a few. Fireworks kick off at 9:30pm each night during the festival and the closing night will feature an explosive concert by Nicky Bomba & The Calypso Big Band.
One of the main attractions is undoubtedly the Moomba Birdman Rally, which was first held in 1976. Hoards of contestants show up on the Yarra River in costumes ranging from the inspiring to the bizarre and leap off the docks to see who can jump the furthest. Sometimes utilizing homemade flying machines, or else just taking a leap of faith, contestants compete for prizes and for charity. The more money someone raises for charity the “further” they leap (excellent incentive, if you ask me).
Prizes are awarded for the person who jumps/ flies the furthest, most Creative Costume and Pre-Jump Performance, Funniest Moment, Best Landing, and Best Hangtime. It’s not hard to see why this event alone attracts 100,000 each year.
For more information on the Moomba Festival and Birdman Rally, check out the Official Website.
When: March 8th – 11th, 2013 (Birdman Rally is on the March 10th)
Where: Melbourne, Australia