Moomba Festival to celebrate love for Melbourne

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First it was cancelled, then it rebooted as Moomba 2.0, now the annual festival has been reimagined as a celebration of love for Melbourne.

Floral love heart displays will adorn the city in March for Moomba 2.0, a scaled-down festival to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions.

The rebooted Moomba Festival is celebrating love for Melbourne.

An installation depicting a gigantic beating heart will light up the skyline along the banks of the Yarra on the Upper Terrace of Birrarung Marr.

Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp has encouraged all Melburnians to come and show their love for the city.

“The floral heart displays will help to capture the community spirit that’s at the heart of the Moomba Festival,” she said.

“We are committed to doing whatever we can to support the economic and cultural revitalisation of Marvellous Melbourne.”

Dancers at Moomba festival last year, just before the pandemic hit.Credit:Eddie Jim

The City of Melbourne briefly cancelled the festival last Thursday, blaming reduced crowd numbers due to COVID-19 restrictions.

However, the decision was overturned 24 hours later when Cr Capp said she had made a mistake and the festival would go ahead with a revised program to meet safety requirements.

“We’ve heard the community loud and clear,” she said at the time.

“At the moment, events have really important aspects, such as building confidence [and] delivering jobs to people in the events, tourism and arts sectors who’ve been so badly impacted over this pandemic period.”

The usual Moomba attractions – the parade, water skiing tournament and Birdman Rally – will be substituted with a series of family-friendly events and attractions across the city on Labour Day weekend from March 5 to 8.

Famous buildings across Melbourne will be lit up in red to encourage everybody to show their love for the city.

The event will now feature the Moomba Carnival at Alexandra Gardens, rides, roving performers and entertainers, creative installations, food trucks and a busking competition in the city centre.

There will also be a Moomba Conversation event at the Library at the Dock; concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl featuring the Cat Empire, Spiderbait, Jebediah and Bodyjar; and the Australian Skate League National Championships at Riverside Skate Park.

Moomba was held last year, but was one of the city’s last major events to go ahead before the pandemic hit.

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