WHAT: ReMax Illuminations Festival
WHERE: Wynnum Esplanade, Wynnum
WHEN: 21 June 2014
Wynnum is Brisbane’s seaside. Not in a glamourous Gold Coast way but in that quaint, slightly sleepy way that is utterly charming.
But last weekend Wynnum threw off its relaxed vibe, as it played host to the ReMax Illuminations Festival. The esplanade and surrounding park areas were was ablaze with fire sculptures, fire twirling and blasts from the ReMax hot air balloon’s giant gas burner.
The boys and I arrived in the set out early afternoon and we had a lovely afternoon checking out the markets. I’m trying to train them to appreciate (or at least tolerate) the joy of trawling through markets and I think I might actually be getting somewhere with it!
The festival culminated in a lantern parade from Wynnum State school to the wading pool. The photo below was taken early on in the night – by the time we left the entire lagoon surface was covered in little home-made lanterns which were actually tiny LCD light inside circular plastic containers (similar to the small size container you’d get at a deli).
The overall effect was magical – hundreds of twinklings lights on the glassy black water.
This was the ReMax Illuminations Festival’s inaugural event and it really was a fantastic family night out – not to mention a great way to bring exposure to local businesses in the area.
And as plans are already underway for a bigger, better festival in 2015 here are a few pieces of feedback I reckon could make a really good community event even better…
Tip #1 – Toilets
The good part is that there are quite decent public toilets adjacent to the wading pool. The bad part was that the lights were on a timer that was obviously set to day time only (when the park would usually be in use). Since getting small people to pee accurately in the dark is a bit of a challenge a word to the council should sort this out for next year!
Tip #2 – Lights
We found the stall that was selling the little LCD lights… on the way back to the car! Maybe having this stall better signed and closer to the entry (so that people can pick them up on their way in) would make sure people don’t miss out.
Tip #3 – Food
Yes there was some, but since the advent of food markets like Eat Street and the rise of the food truck scene, Brisbane crowds have some serious expectations when it comes to variety and quality! They could have done with AT LEAST another 10 – 12 vendors for variety and to service the crowd.
Mind you with three hungry boys in tow food was obviously a priority! So we stopped at an old favourite for tea – Pelicans Nest Fish & Chips.
We ate it with our hands sitting at a trestle table in the middle of the street and it was AWESOME!
Did you go to the ReMax Illuminations Festival? What did YOU think?