26 May 2022

'Festival of W' to put the Riverina on ice

| Chris Roe
Start the conversation
outdoor ice skating rink

The ice rink is back for the inaugural Festival of W. Photo: Wagga City Council.

Winter is well and truly on the way and Wagga is getting ready to celebrate with the inaugural ‘Festival of W’.

What does the W stand for you wonder? Well, that’s up to you: it can be Wagga, Wiradjuri, Woolundry, winter, wonderland, warm, welcome – whatever!

What we do know is that the Festival of W promises 16 days of winter celebration. Wagga City Council events officer Emma Corbett said locals should save the date.

“The Festival of W is Wagga’s newest winter festival,” she explained.

READ ALSO Wagga’s Dane Simpson brings his award-winning comedy home

Running in the CBD from Saturday 2 July to Sunday 17 July, the new festival is an evolution of the popular Lost Lanes. This one-night-only micro-festival saw locals and visitors brave the cold to celebrate in Wagga’s hidden laneways.

The extended 16-day event aims to build on those good vibes with more street art, music, open fires and winter warmers and incorporates other school holiday winter favourites.

“One of the major elements will be the return of the ice rink. It’s bigger this year, which is very exciting!” Emma said.

The chance to skate proved a winner in past years with thousands coming from across the Riverina to hit the ice in Wagga’s Victory Memorial Gardens.

READ ALSO Have you herd? Wagga Zoo’s fallow deer need a new home

“We had almost 18,000 people through last year, so hopefully we see those numbers again,” Emma said.

“A lot of people wanted bigger so we did listen and we did go bigger.”

Measuring 15 by 36 metres, the new open-air rink will be around 10 sqm bigger than in previous years.

“It will be in place for the two weeks and then we’ll have smaller event activations throughout the weekends of the school holidays,” Emma said.

Festival of W promo

The first Festival of W will run through the July school holidays. Photo: Visit Wagga Wagga.

In the spirit of past events, Wagga City Council is looking for local businesses to come to the party, either for the whole festival or one-off events.

“We are seeking food and drink vendors to be a part of the festival and any business collaborations,” Emma said.

With a colder than usual winter predicted, Emma said it’s a chance to wrap up, get out of the house and get involved.

“It’s time to embrace those woollies and get out in the time which you would normally be inside rugged up. There’ll be lots to see and do so we’re excited to have everyone get involved.”

Expressions of interest for vendors and local businesses close on Sunday night (29 May 2022).

Go to the Visit Wagga website or email [email protected] to register an expression of interest.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.