Australia’s largest community festival, Moomba, returns over the long weekend on 8-11 March. The Moomba Parade is always a highlight, but what other (mostly free) fun should be high on your list? Here are our tips for a wonderful day or night with family or friends.
The Moomba Carnival delivers scary rides for kids and kids at heart on both sides of the Yarra River in 2019. Are you brave enough for the XXXL? This triple-action extreme flipping ride will have you spinning upside down 30 meters above the fairground!
Moomba’s youngest visitors will love the Little Land zone’s rides, like Cup and Saucer and Happy Kangaroo. The opening night $37 Friday Ride Pass is amazing value for anyone into carnival rides. This golden ticket to three hours of excitement can be purchased in advance. Going as a group? Upgrade to a four-pass pack and save.
Food and Fireworks
Whether you’re strapped in for the full four days or just want a one-day adventure, you’ll need your sustenance. Try out heaps of yummy stuff throughout the festival, from fairyfloss and hot dogs to Greek and Jamaican street food. With all that great food around, you’ll be more than ready to stay on into the evening to catch the excellent fireworks display, kicking off around 9.30pm every night.
Music, music, music
Day and night throughout the festival, Moomba comes alive with music at the Star Lawn stage. From festival opener DJ Soju-Gangs’ dance beats to Monday night’s final Afro-Latin electronic beat by Amaru Tribe, it’s all free. The music stage at The Green also hosts live music just for kids, like Woody’s Ukulele Workshop and the Teeny Tiny Stevies.
A big hit when it made its debut at Moomba last year, the Dance Zone returns with cultural dance workshops and performances. Whether you have two left feet or can two-step with the best, let yourself go and learn a new dance style. There are more than 30 to choose from, including Jamaican dance hall, flamenco, ballroom and hip hop.
New in 2019 are Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tours. The crazy commentary and uplifting hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s will soon get you doing more than walking though. Think spontaneous flash mob dancing and interpretive dancing around local landmarks for starters!
Did you know that every Moomba Parade features floats designed by children at the previous year’s festival? Let their imaginations run wild at the Design Pavilion, 11am-7pm Saturday-Monday. Other fab fun just for little ones ranges from yoga classes to meeting loveable Minions Stuart and Kevin. There’s also art and craft workshops, face painting, skateboarding lessons, a Lego playzone and more.
Summer may be over, but there’s still time for an alfresco movie or two. Every night Moomba’s big screen will light up with shorts from Little Big Shots, Australia’s only film festival for junior movie makers. Then it’s time for a favourite family feature: ET The Extraterrestrial (Friday), How to Train Your Dragon (Saturday), Trolls (Sunday) and The LEGO Movie (Monday).
Invention and silliness join hands and try to fly at perennial Moomba favourite, the Birdman Rally. Daring participants don costumes and contraptions to help them soar across the Yarra. Will they fly or flop? No matter, it’s all in the name of charity and a ridiculously funny Sunday spectacle.
Moomba Masters Championship
Watch waterskiers and wakeboarders from 19 countries gather on the river for the spectacular Moomba Masters Championship. Girls, boys, men and women compete in slalom, jump, trick and wakeboard categories, as well as twilight night jumps. This year, barefoot water ski amputee-athlete Sam Bell and sit skier Jason Sleep add another dimension to this high-flying program.
Visit the Moomba Festival website for the full program.