Thousands flock to festival parade

Big crowds flocked to Coolangatta for the return of the Wintersun Parade.
Big crowds flocked to Coolangatta for the return of the Wintersun Parade.

THE weird, the wacky and the wonderful highlighted another year of the Wintersun rock 'n' roll nostalgia festival in Coolangatta and Tweed Heads.

Thousands of enthusiasts young and old turned out for the end of the nostalgia festival over the weekend by transforming the streets of the Twin Towns into a haven of bands, rides, slicked-backed hair; and polka-dot dresses to boot.

But from today the bands will start packing up and the cars will begin to roll out of town as Wintersun moves on for an- other year.

Those who turned out on Sat- urday morning witnessed the return of the street parade after a two-year hiatus, which this time travelled down beachside Marine Parade instead of the traditional Griffith Street route.

Half-a-dozen semi-trailers were transformed into mobile dance floors and stages, with rock and rollers from the Coast to Coast Dancers, Adelaide Rock n Roll 50s and 60s club along with bands, including Route 66.

The buzz around the streets was positive, with a bit of something for everyone. Many dressed up in 1950s gear as they paraded the streets while car owners proudly showed off their classic cars and hot rods.

Allowing Griffith Street to remain open to traffic, Wintersun festival director Barry McNamara said he believes the committee had finally struck a formula to please the masses.

“We are always tweaking and tuning to make things better, but I think weve come up with a good plan this year,” Mr McNamara said.

While he could put a number on the large crowd, Mr McNamara said it would easily be the biggest yet. “It has been very successful,” he said.

The fun continued into Saturday night, and even passing showers failed to spoil yesterday's festive atmosphere.

ABC radio announcer Ian “Macca” McNamara took over the Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club to broadcast live as part of his Australia All Over tour.

A large crowd turned out in the early hours of yesterday to watch and listen as Mr McNamara delivered his broadcast.

The exposure for Tweed Heads and Coolangatta was huge, Mr McNamara said of the broadcast.

“He has a huge audience outside the major Australian cities which is who we were appealing for,” he said.

Following the early rains yesterday, the winter sun came back and the festival again managed to draw huge crowds.

Wintersun will be hitting the road for a mini event in Mildura, Victoria in August but will return to Coolangatta and Tweed Heads in its full form next year.

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