Cadillac Rockers rock'n'roll dancers Emma Wilkinson and Natalie Rowe prepare for Cooly Rocks On with reigning Miss Rockabilly Erin Oostenbroek (front) at Coolangatta on Thursday.
Cadillac Rockers rock'n'roll dancers Emma Wilkinson and Natalie Rowe prepare for Cooly Rocks On with reigning Miss Rockabilly Erin Oostenbroek (front) at Coolangatta on Thursday. Daniel Mckenzie

Get your rocks off at Cooly Rocks On

TWEED Heads will play an integral part in the Cooly Rocks On revolution this year, with more events than ever set to take place south of the border.

A temporary skating rink will provide the foreground, while Jack Evans Park will become a drive-in movie amphitheatre, transforming the Tweed into a retro wonderland during Australia's largest '50s and '60s nostalgia festival.

Cooly Rocks On organiser Peter Doggett said the decision to ramp-up activities south of the border was an integral part of the festival in 2017.

"I just wanted to see greater activation of a wonderful space, so I said to council that we wanted to increase (activities) in Jack Evans,” he said.

"We will deliver far more activity down there as Tweed is a big part of what we do.”

Dior Wilkinson, Mocha the toy chocolate poodle and rock 'n' roll dancer Emma Wilkinson get ready for Cooly Rocks On at Coolangatta on Thursday
Dior Wilkinson, Mocha the toy chocolate poodle and rock 'n' roll dancer Emma Wilkinson get ready for Cooly Rocks On at Coolangatta on Thursday Daniel Mckenzie

The drive-in can accommodate up to 120 cars, while a general seating area will also be available for people to enjoy a movie on a picnic blanket or low-set chair.

From Thursday night to Saturday night, Jailhouse Rock, Jersey Boys, and The Boat That Rocked will screen each night respectively and while each session is free, bookings are required as space is limited.

Mr Doggett said there would also be hokey pokey, flash mobs and other activities at Jack Evans, while traditional movies, including the Blues Brothers, The Italian Job and Rebel Without a Cause, will screen at BCC The Strand for $10 a ticket.

"It's a cross-border event so we needed to ensure people get over there and enjoy all the aspects of what's happening,” he said.

Cadillac rock 'n' roll dancers Emma Wilkinson, Natalie Rowe, Jake Maloney and Mitch Vanegdom at Coolangatta on Thursday.
Cadillac rock 'n' roll dancers Emma Wilkinson, Natalie Rowe, Jake Maloney and Mitch Vanegdom at Coolangatta on Thursday. Daniel Mckenzie

The fun extends from Kirra down to Jack Evans, with the festival's main focus on entertainment providing 40 bands across five stages.

Now run over a compact five-day program, Mr Doggett said there'd be more than 115 hours of free musical entertainment available, with those looking to indulge in rock'n'roll and swing dancing well and truly catered for.

"Jack Evans, Elizabeth Park and Kirra will all have stages with a black and white checkered dance floor, so those coming for a dance will appreciate that,” he said.

The traditional favourites will return, with Miss Cooly Rocks On and Miss Rockabilly set to run at the Strand and Coolangatta Sands Hotel on Saturday and Sunday respectively, while the grand parade will track a path through Coolangatta on the Saturday.

Cadillac Rock 'n' roll dancers Emma Wilkinson, Natalie Rowe, Jake Maloney and Mitch Vaegdom check out a vintage Ford at Coolangatta on Thursday
Cadillac Rock 'n' roll dancers Emma Wilkinson, Natalie Rowe, Jake Maloney and Mitch Vaegdom check out a vintage Ford at Coolangatta on Thursday Daniel Mckenzie

There'll be swap meets, dance workshops, car cruising and the must-see Poodle and Oodle parade, which will feature pure-breed and cross-breed poodles dressed in theme with their owners.

New features include a Cooly Rocks Pinball Challenge at Timezone in The Strand, a Saturday night Quiz Challenge featuring Frankie J. Holden, and an array of fireworks displays.

"A family fireworks display off the beach at Coolangatta on the Saturday night will be done as a tribute to Chuck Berry", Mr Doggett said.

"There'll also be a pyrotechnic display by a group of skydivers who'll leave a trail of fireworks - that's also a first for Cooly Rocks On."

Cooly Rocks On

When: June 7-11

Full program: coolyrockson.com/



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