Ten hours of free entertainment.
(min cost $8)
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That's what is planned for the main event at the 2023 DREAM Festival.
More than three months of planning has gone into this year's DREAM Festival. And while events are on throughout the whole of September, the biggest will be the DREAM lanterns on Saturday, September 9.
Victoria Park will be a hub of entertainment from 12pm until 10pm.
Dubbo Regional Council events and partnership team leader Lana Willetts said the day would include roving performers, stage entertainment, market stalls and food vendors.
The entertainment on the main stage will be headlined by Orange musician Robbie Mortimer and Andy Nelson from Bathurst, but Ms Willetts said there would also be a mix of vocal orchestral and dance performances throughout the day and evening.
There will be a kids area, known as DREAMland, with inflatables, jumping castles and Barbie and Ken boxes, Pooka the Clown, and Punch and Judy performances.
Ms Willetts said one of the things she was most excited about was the Wiradjuri DREAMscape.
The DREAMscape has been curated by Dubbo's Shane Riley.
"It's an immersive experience, telling stories of local history and culture, " Ms Willetts said.
Mr Riley has been working with more than 100 students from three different schools across Dubbo to create the special experience.
The light projections in the DREAMscape will include 800 stories representing eight clan groups.
"There will be illuminated images, voices of local elders and Indigenous dancers which combined will tell stories of time past," Ms Willetts said.
This will be the first time the DREAM Festival has featured a locally-curated Indigenous instalment.
The lantern parade will be held at 7pm. It will start in the Macquarie Regional Library car park and go down Talbragar Street to Victoria Park.
The parade was cancelled in 2022 due to rain. But speaking at 2023 DREAM Festival launch earlier this year, Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson was confident it would be back.
"Barring a tsunami coming along from the Macquarie River, a pandemic, a mouse plague - it'll definitely be going ahead this year," he said.
Ms Willetts said there would be a "special surprise" leading this year's lantern parade.
Overall, she's hoping the festival brings joy to everyone who attends.
"The thing that will bring me the most joy will be seeing families enjoying the evening and the kids having fun, and seeing the smiles on people's faces. That's the reason why we do it," she said.
"Even though it's going to be cold, we hope people rug up and really enjoy the night."
This is the first time the full event has been able to go ahead since the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is really great to see the DREAM Festival return to Dubbo after being on pause for three years due to the pandemic and flooding," Cr Dickerson said.
"The DREAM Festival has always been a popular staple on the Dubbo region events calendar and is a major draw-card for visitors to the region. With a huge program over the four-week long festival, it is estimated to inject $4 million dollars into the local economy," Cr Dickerson said.
In addition to the DREAM lanterns event, Zoocoustics was held on Saturday, September 2.
Hundreds of families gathered at Western Plains Taronga Zoo on Father's Day for an afternoon of live, original music featuring Elle Flanaghan, Harriet Fahey and Sy Allen.
A Glow Hard Fun Run and Silent Disco are planned for later in the month.
The Glow Hard Fun Run will be held on September 16 at 5.30pm. The glow-in-the-dark fun will be held at Jubilee Oval. The silent disco will take place at the Dubbo Rotunda on September 29.
Ms Willetts said three months of full-time planning had gone into making the event successful.
"This year has been produced and curated very carefully. We wanted to make sure there was something for everyone. And we're extremely proud of what we're able to present," she said.
The full program of events can be seen on the Dubbo DREAM Festival Facebook page, or via the website at dreamfest.com.au.
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