What’s On?!

By Amy, Cultural Embrace Work in Australia

I was beginning to think that Aussies were obsessed with their television programs as there are “What’s On” billboards, signs, magazines, and websites everywhere you turn. Alas, it is actually their way of saying “what’s going on?!”–And there is plenty!!! Although there is more of a “fall” feeling in the air, the springtime festivals are in full swing. Brazilian festival, Latin Festival, Jazz Festival, Art and About Sydney, and my favorite so far..The International Food Festival! The festivals began over the long Labor Day weekend, which is in October here.

The Latin festival was dampened by the relentless rain over in Darling Harbour but it wasn’t stopping the music and dancing taking place around each corner. We wandered from booth to booth and stage to stage in the rain, soaking it all in….quite literally! After awhile we decided to head for cover and went into the nearby shopping center where Sarah and I were lured into EVERY souveneir shop (probably close to 8 total, I’m embarrassed to admit) but we held strong and didn’t make any cheesy touristy purchases….not yet anyway! Though I think there are Australian hoodies in our future! haha

I couldn’t wait to check out both Manly beach and the Jazz Festival and I got to do both at once. I wasn’t let down by either! The Jazz Fest was quite impressive with about 5 different stages set up along the beach and some really talented performers! I found a way to volunteer handing out programs and got a free t-shirt!–I’m such a sucker for free t-shirts! Sarah and I both plan on making plenty more trips to the beach as soon as the weather warms up! We were delighted to discover that it was much closer than we expected it to be….just waiting on that sun to show itself!

Sydney’s Art and About takes place throughout the month of October, as does the International Food Fest. There are massive photographs that are hanging down the main walkway of Hyde Park and they are truly amazing. Another feature of the month long art exhibits is that local artists have clothed some of the most historical statues located around the city. Last weekend I thought I had lost my mind when I noticed the Queen Victoria statue clothed in bright royal blue and red clothing. I couldn’t remember for the life of me if she had always been clothed, and thought it might be some kind of fashion week gimmick. I am now on a quest to locate all of the other robed statues throughout the city. Another really cool piece of work is the Bike-Bike. It is actually a bike made up of bikes. I saw it up close for the first time last night and it’s really something to see! This coming weekend there is a tour of galleries throughout the city of approximately 92 different artists and this is not even the half of it. There are so many events happening all over I can’t even keep up with them!

Queen Victoria Statue

And finally, one of the most beautiful things about Sydney is October is the International Food Festival. Again, there is more taking place than I am probably even aware of but I’m enjoying as much as possible while it’s on! There were wine/cheese markets down at the Rocks last weekend. To top off the day there was a local bar celebrating its 3rd anniversary with a pirate party so one of my friends from work and his friends invited me to tag-a-long for the festivities. Definitely a good time and met some great new friends! The next two weeks will be Noodle Markets in Hyde Park with loads of booths set up from all of the local restaurants serving the favorites of Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Turkish, etc. cuisine. There is live music, and entertainment taking place throughout the evening and is right next to the photo exhibition through the park. Such a good time! I went for the first time last night and definitely plan to visit again before it’s all over with! The picture above is on all of the signs, and they actually created flags for each of the countries represented in the food festival—just in case you’re curious (and my OCS people out there will appreciate this more than most) the stripes on the US flag are hotdogs! We are a nation of delectible tastes!

Flags Made from Food from Each Country
Noodle Market

So this is what has been keeping me busy! Please forgive the length of time between blogs. Hope all is well!

Take care! 🙂

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