Lithgow, NSW: Halloween festival a monster success
By Ellen Hill for Lithgow City Council Photos: Ben Pearse and David Hill
More than 27,000 Draculas, skeletons, goblins, fairies and other fantasy characters converged on the town of Lithgow for its annual Halloween monster mash last Saturday (October 31).
As well as much of the local community, several thousand visitors from out of town experienced one of the largest Halloween celebrations in NSW and engaged in the daytime and night time festivities.
With spectacular acrobatics, pyrotechnics, a vampire aristocrat and a Michael Jackson impersonator, Vivid-style lighting displays and spooky decorations, the main shopping strip was transformed into a fun-filled pedestrian zone with five themed precincts packed with market stalls selling local produce, dining options for every budget and non-stop entertainment across two main stages.
Bedecked in a magnificent gown and towering pink wig, Lithgow City Council Mayor Councillor Maree Statham, said: “This year’s event had achieved the council’s aims of driving business to the main shopping strip, boosting community spirit and creating an awareness of Lithgow and the surround’s beauty. It was also an investment in the wellbeing of our community.
“Lithgow Halloween 15 was a success, absolutely. The people of Lithgow have spoken with their feet.
“The CBD businesses decorated their shop windows and premises and held themed events like Trick or Treat for the children. The people of Lithgow embraced the festival by making scarecrows, decorating skulls and going to enormous effort with their costumes on the day.’’
Mayor Statham said the festival was also an investment in Lithgow’s tourism future.
“We know from statistics and data that festivals and events create a reason for people to travel. We created a reason for them to come here and they did. Thousands of visitors from other areas walked our streets, spent money in our shops and booked every tourism bed in town.”
As well as including other satellite events such as Dracula’s Masquerade Ball at the Old Zig Zag Brewery and All Hallows Picnic at Eskbank House, Lithgow Halloween 15 involved a longer stretch of Main St this year.
Officially opening the festival, Bathurst State MP Paul Toole congratulated the council for its vision and fostering community pride: “You are making this the best Halloween festival in all of this country. You are making your place a point of destination. You are making this happen for your community and for other people. It is innovation, it is being creative and …this is an event that you can actually own.’’
Mayor Statham thanked the event sponsors, Centennial Coal, Treeview Estates, McDonald’s Lithgow and Energy Australia.
Developing innovative promotional activities for the enjoyment of the community which encourage an increase in business activities in the town centres is part of Councils strategy to strengthen our Economy in the Community Strategic Plan 2026.