King George Square will be transformed into a winter wonderland this month for Brisbane’s Winter Festival.
Held from Friday 17 June to Sunday 10 July, the Winter Festival is styled to look like Europe’s winter markets, featuring an open-air ice skating rink with actual falling snow, a powdered snow pit, a real snow toboggan and a European-style food market.
The national festival will kick off in King George Square in Brisbane, and then stop at other major cities around the country including Canberra, Fremantle and Sydney.
Event organiser Andrew Lemon says it will be a first for many Brisbanites.
“For many it will be their first chance to experience real snow and for others it will be a chance for them to re-live some of the fun snow and ski experiences they’ve had on holidays without the added pressure of international travel and the huge expenses associated with this,” he says.
“Imagine ice skating on an open air ice rink with falling snow dusting your hair – blink and you’ll feel like you’re in Austria, not Australia.”
The festival will raise funds and awareness for national charity Youngcare, and will give young adults with high care needs the opportunity to experience snow and ice skating, regardless of their care needs.
“All our ice skating rinks are wheelchair accessible and there is no charge for carers as we support the Companion Card program,” Andrew says.
“Seeing the joy on people’s faces experiencing the snow for the first time or to have a go a ice skating is without a doubt the best part of what we do, but to also witness a young vibrant adult who has high care needs feeling real powder snow dusting their face and skoot around the ice never fails to move me or my team. It’s a total privilege to be able to witness that.”
And don’t worry if you’ve never been ice skating, because according to Andrew, almost anyone can have a go.
“With the warm climate in Queensland, ice skating is obviously not something that most people do all the time, but it’s awesome to try new things and this festival is loads of fun, even if you’re a bit wobbly at first. It’s not that difficult, really, and we have professionals on hand to assist novice skaters, plus of course there are lots of other fun activities too,” he says.
As well as a European-style food market filled with traditional European delights, the festival will also feature a range of performances, including Olympic skater and figure skating shows, live music, DJs and pop-up bars, and a range of winter games and activities.
You’ll be able to jump, slip and slide on the giant inflatable slide, challenge your mates to a toboggan race, jump inside one of the tube dudes and roll the day away or make snowmen and snow balls in the powder pit.
Brisbane’s Winter Festival will be held from Friday 17 June to Sunday 10 July in King George Square. For more information visit www.winterfestival.com.au
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