Katoomba's Winter Magic warms hearts

Beaming sunshine, booming beats and a beautifully bright grand parade treated more than 35,000 boldly dressed people in Katoomba to a Winter Magic Festival to remember on Saturday.

Among the highlights were the spectacular masked Waratah Drumcorps formation - who literally turned heads - eyebrow-raising acrobatics by the Super Mario Brothers, pulsating music by The Crooked Fiddle Band and Hands, Heart and Feet and a massive Zumba flash mob.

Festival president Sharon Peralta said she couldn't have asked for better weather, which ensured a massive turnout.

"The place was so packed, although I did notice this year the crowds built up a little later in the morning for some reason [possibly the World Cup].

"So many spots were full of people apart from just Katoomba and Main Streets, including new festival venues like the civic centre, the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and the youth zone at Studleigh Place car park. It seemed everyone was everywhere!"

Ms Peralta said the grand parade was outstanding and full of community spirit.

The festival's inaugural donation collection drive raised almost $5000.

"I think donating to the festival gave people a sense of ownership and I could see that meant a lot to people. I think probably the biggest thing to come out of it was raising awareness - I don't think many people realise how much it costs to run this festival and that it is run by community volunteers.

"We'll be looking at ways to secure major sponsors for next year and we want the festival to get even better."

Blue Mountains Police reported a relatively quiet Winter Magic night with only a few incidents.

Two people were charged with offences including resisting police, affray, offensive conduct and failing to leave licensed premises when instructed.

Police also issued several people with penalty notices for minor offences. The public transport command issued 18 penalty notices as well.

Sunglasses were required on Saturday when looking at these bright and colourful Winter Magic grand parade characters.

Sunglasses were required on Saturday when looking at these bright and colourful Winter Magic grand parade characters.

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