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Blue Mountains, Australia – plenty to see & do post-bushfires

Blue Mountains Festivals 01

The Blue Mountains region has prepared a jam-packed calendar of festivals and events to welcome visitors back to Australia’s first tourist destination.

BMATA logoBlue Mountains Tourism president Jason Cronshaw said while the region was still struggling from mass tourist cancellations during the recent bushfire situation, businesses had taken a positive approach to recovery.

“Compared to other regions where tourism attractions, hotels and infrastructure have been destroyed, we recognise how very blessed we are.

“Much of our 1 million square hectare Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area looks as fantastic as ever, including the globally-recognised Three Sisters scene.

“More bush tracks into the wilderness are opening all the time.

“All the popular tourist strips and businesses are open and welcome visitors.’’

Blue Mountains Festivals 03Mr Cronshaw, who also owns the double-decker Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, encouraged people with existing bookings to still come, those who had cancelled to re-book and people considering a trip to #HolidayHereThisYear in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area right on Sydney’s doorstep.

Several long-scheduled festivals and events will go ahead as planned, including annual Roaring 20s Festival events at the Carrington and Hydro Majestic hotels in February, Blue Mountains Music Festival in March and Winter Magic Festival in June.

“The Lady Luck and Wines of the West festivals got things rolling in January and, while crowds were down on previous years, that show of confidence has buoyed the wider business community which will eventually lead the market back to normal.’’

From live music pub gigs, community markets and open days to costumed balls and fundraising dinners, the Blue Mountains will be a hive of non-stop activity throughout 2020.

Take your pick from these upcoming Blue Mountains festivals and events:

Woodford Academy

 


Majestic snatch back of Ashes of retro dance at Hydro

Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge artistic adviser Angela Corkeron leads the 2016 attempt.

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group          Photos: David Hill

The Poms have snatched the Ashes (well, the Ashes of the retro dance world) and every pair of left feet will help give the Blue Mountains a sporting chance at reclaiming it on Saturday, February 25.

The annual Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of costumed people to dance the Charleston will be held at the world-famous Hydro Majestic Hotel at 11am sharp, with training sessions and registration from 10am.

The Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge first claimed the title in 2012. The local event broke its own record in 2013 with 276 dancers and again in 2014. It reached 360 dancers in 2015.

Then in 2015, the town of Bexhill in England snatched the title with 503 dancers, followed by a raid by Swing Patrol dance troupe in London with 975 dancers later that year.

Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge captain/artistic advisor, Angela Corkeron said: “We admit, we dropped the ball and were slammed when the Poms came out of left field. We just haven’t been able to get back to form since.

“But we’re Aussies and competitive recreation is our game. We’ve called time out and our match plan is to high kick that record right back at `em with full velocity.

“We need 1000 dancers on the team. We need sports people with that competitive spirit to help us smash the record for a six and bring that title home triumphant.

’’Participants don’t need to be professional dancers, just dressed in 1920s costume (a flapper dress and feather boa for girls and a suit and Fedora hat for blokes will do), registered for the event and able to attempt the Charleston dance for five minutes.

The Hydro Majestic Hotel is opposite Medlow Bath station on the Blue Mountains railway line, so parking is not an issue.

The Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge is a free event, although gold coin donations raise funds for Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service, whose volunteers tirelessly protect the community during bushfires.

Stay on after dancing your way into history for the Majestic Long Lunch and indulge in delicious regional food and wine. Cost: $95pp.

A highlight of the annual Roaring 20s Festival in the area, the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge will be held in front of the pavilion at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, at 11am sharp on Saturday, February 25. Prizes for best performance and costumes will be given.

Go to www.charlestonchallenge.com.au to see a Charleston dance tutorial and www.hydromajestic.com.au to register for the Majestic Charleston Challenge and book other Roaring 20s Festival events at the Hydro Majestic, dining options and accommodation.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media         

Lithgow Halloween ‘16 to host biggest community dress-up street party

Lithgow Halloween 01

By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Tourism           Photos: David Hill

Dreadful Draculas, grisly genies, creepy clowns and terrible trolls will mingle with loveable fairytale characters, superheroes, goblins and fairies when Lithgow hosts Australia’s largest Halloween celebration on October 29.

Lithgow Halloween 07Organised and hosted by Lithgow City Council, with support from local sponsors including Lithgow McDonald’s, Centennial Coal, Energy Australia, Village Voice and Lithgow Workies, Lithgow Halloween `16 will again feature spectacular Vivid-style lighting displays and spooky decorations.

The main shopping area will be transformed into a fun-filled pedestrian zone with themed precincts, non-stop entertainment, Australia’s biggest Trick or Treat for children and a public Thriller dance-off lead by internationally renowned Michael Jackson impersonator Jason Jackson.

Lithgow City Council Tourism Manager Kellie Barrow encouraged everyone to join the hocus pocus in costume: “Costumes don’t have to be scary and they don’t have to be expensive. In fact, one of the favourite characters with kids in the past has been a local lady who dresses as Snow White and I suspect there will be quite a few interpretations of Michael Jackson this year to go along with the Thriller theme.

“Many of our shops in the CBD are stocked with affordable costume items and shops are beginning to install their window displays so there’s plenty of inspiration in town.

Lithgow Halloween 06“Lithgow has earned itself quite a reputation for costume parties, and we don’t do anything by halves – we have whole families coming in character. Even our mayor and local MP Paul Toole have traditionally thrown themselves into the spirit of the occasion and are unrecognisable.’’

Lithgow Halloween `16 will include something for everyone, with a range of free community events in public spaces through to ticketed events at private venues.

Ms Barrow recommended visitors stay overnight in the area to fully explore the surprisingly diverse range of scenery, dining options and activities available in Lithgow and surrounds including the Back to Hartley event at Hartley Historic Site on the way to Sydney on Sunday, October 30.

Go to www.halloween.lithgow.com for more information and Jason Jackson’s Thriller tutorial video to practice the dance before the record-breaking event.

  • Lithgow Tourism is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline PublicityLithgow Halloween 05

Lithgow Halloween `16 to host biggest Trick or Treat

(l-r) Liv Evans, 6 of Portland, with Naturally by Kelley owner Kelley Crane. Photo: David Hill, Headline Publicity

(l-r) Liv Evans, 6 of Portland, with Naturally by Kelley owner Kelley Crane. Photo: David Hill, Headline Publicity

 

By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Tourism

Australia’s largest Halloween celebration will host the nation’s biggest Trick or Treat for children when Lithgow holds a hair-raising community party on October 29.

Organised and hosted by Lithgow City Council, with support from local sponsors including Lithgow McDonald’s, Centennial Coal, Energy Australia, Village Voice and Lithgow Workies, the event will again feature spectacular Vivid-style lighting displays and spooky decorations.

The main shopping area will be transformed into a fun-filled pedestrian zone with themed precincts, non-stop entertainment and a public Thriller dance-off lead by internationally renowned Michael Jackson impersonator Jason Jackson.

The Trick or Treat activity will kick off the festival at participating shops along Main St between 5pm and 6pm for children aged 12 and younger.

Lithgow City Council Tourism Manager Kellie Barrow is encouraging families to arrive early for the fiendish family fun. Parents are also urged to ensure their children only accepted treats from Council recognised shopkeepers along Main Street.

“While the Council is pleased to provide families with a safe Trick or Treat environment and is delighted that shops are keen to take part, we also want to take the opportunity to reinforce the `stranger danger’ message among children.’’

Official Trick or Treat sites will display a specially-designed sign including Lithgow City Council accreditation for the activity, she said.

Ms Barrow encouraged everyone to attend Lithgow Halloween `16 in costume as a fangtastic fairy, wicked werewolf, macabre mummy, a spine tingling skeleton or loveable fairytale personality, goblin or fairy.

“Costumes don’t have to be frightening and they don’t have to be expensive. In fact, one of the favourite characters with kids in the past has been a local lady who dresses as Snow White.

“Many of our shops in the CBD are stocked with affordable costume items and shops are beginning to install their window displays so there’s plenty of inspiration in town.’’

Lithgow Halloween `16 will include something for everyone, with a range of free community events in public spaces through to ticketed events at private venues.

Ms Barrow recommended visitors stay overnight in the area to fully explore the surprisingly diverse range of scenery, dining options and activities available in Lithgow and surrounds including the Back to Hartley event at Hartley Historic Site on the way to Sydney on Sunday, October 30.

Go to www.halloween.lithgow.com for more information and Jason Jackson’s Thriller tutorial video to practice the dance before the record-breaking event.

* Lithgow Tourism is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

Lithgow Halloween `15. Photo: Ben Pearse, Headline Publicity

Lithgow Halloween `15. Photo: Ben Pearse, Headline Publicity


Blue Mountains: Moon Festival rises again at Hydro Majestic Hotel

Moon Festival 13

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group       Photos: David Hill

Asian street food, music, lanterns, lights and lions – lucky visitors to the original Blue Mountains party palace will experience all the sights and sounds of the Orient on Sunday, September 25.

Moon Festival 15The Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath will host its second spring Moon Festival to celebrate the season of re-awakening, traditional Asian culture, family and friends, new growth, harmony and the blessings of prosperity and abundance.

This year the harvest-themed event will be held at the Hydro Majestic Pavilion, where locals can mingle with international visitors to watch the exciting lion dance troupe performance under colourful lanterns.

Asian-inspired music will create extra atmosphere among the street stalls peddling dumplings, barbecued meat and seafood skewers, Banh Mi, fresh spring rolls, rice paper rolls, fried noodles, roasted corn cobs, Asian desserts and more.

General manager of Escarpment Group, which owns the Hydro Majestic, Ralf Bruegger said the Moon Festival was a chance to explore one of the most famous grand hotels in the world, celebrate the season of renewal and learn about the rich Chinese culture of the hotel.

“Around the turn of the 20th century, Chinese workers disillusioned with the lack of fortune in the Bathurst goldfields, found themselves stranded in the Blue Mountains with no money to return to Sydney.

Moon Festival 01“Mark Foy, the great Sydney retailer who built the Hydro Majestic Hotel, was fascinated with all things Asian and happily employed many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, who worked as a cook at Foy’s Sydney home and managing the mayhem at the Hydro Majestic for thirty-five years.’’

The Moon Festival would also give travellers another reason to visit the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and Mr Bruegger encouraged visitors to stay at least one night to explore the region, with its 400 bushwalking tracks and numerous lookouts, boutique shopping and unique attractions.

“We have the most fantastic sunset views in the area for those who linger. There’s few more magical moments than watching the valley glow and the sky changing while sipping on a cocktail or a glass of regional wine.’’

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be held at the hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 12pm to 4pm Sunday, September 25.

Go to www.escarpmentgroup.com.au to book accommodation and dining options at one of the four Escarpment Group properties in the upper Blue Mountains (the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, Lilianfels Resort & Spa and Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant).Moon Festival 16


Blue Mountains: Hydro Majestic turns old Shanghai

Moon Festival 11

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                    Photos: David Hill

Celebrate the rich prospects of 2016 on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year when the most fabulously famous hotel in Australia celebrates its Asian heritage with a special Shanghai Nights event on Saturday, February 6.

The event will be part of Roaring 20s Festival events to be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, to celebrate the 1920s era when Australia’s first tourist destination kicked up its heels for a decade-long party.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The Hydro Majestic has been blessed with a long connection with Asia.

Many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, worked at the Hydro Majestic Hotel during the Mark Foy era.

Many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, worked at the Hydro Majestic Hotel during the Mark Foy era.

“Around the turn of the 20th century, the hotel became the good fortune of Chinese workers disillusioned with the Bathurst goldfields and stranded in the Blue Mountains with no money to return to Sydney.

“Mark Foy, the great Sydney retailer who built the Hydro Majestic Hotel, was fascinated with all things Asian and happily employed many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, who worked as a cook at Foy’s Sydney home and managing the mayhem at the Hydro Majestic for thirty-five years.’’

The Shanghai Nights event will wrap up Roaring 20s Festival events at the Hydro Majestic, which will kick off with a Gangster Casino Night on Friday, February 5, and also include on Saturday, February 6, the Hydro Charleston Challenge world record attempt for the largest number of costumed people to dance the Charleston and the Majestic Long Lunch featuring local and regional food and wine.

 

Shanghai Nights will include an evening of exotic cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

“This will be a very beautiful event which reminds people of the romance of the 1920s and the elegance of the Hydro Majestic rather than just the flappers and gangsters,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“We will recreate the softness of the lighting, the reds and greens and golden colours, the feathers and fabrics, the sophisticated lines of the architecture. Guests will feel like they have slipped into a fantastic dream.’’

Guests are encouraged to dress in 1920s-style Asian fashion to help create an authentic atmosphere of old Shanghai.

For women, that could include kimono-style coats and robes or cheongsams and richly embroidered fabrics accessorised with carved bone, ivory and mother-of-pearl jewellery and high heeled shoes.

Men could wear a western-style three-piece business suit which became popular in China during the 1920s or the tradition Chang Pao and Ma Gua long shirts over traditional drawstring “lantern pants’’ and finished with a top hat.

The Roaring 20s Festival celebrates the sumptuous architecture, saucy clothing, outrageous dancing and jazz music of the hedonistic heyday of Australia’s first tourist destination, the Blue Mountains. The festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the area.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au to book for Shanghai Nights ($150 per person), the Gangster Casino Night, the Majestic Long Lunch, to register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge and for more event, accommodation and dining option information and bookings.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

Moon Festival 20


Hydro Charleston Challenge: 1000 dancers needed

Dance your way into history at the Hydro Charleston Challenge

Dance your way into history at the Hydro Charleston Challenge

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group              Photos: David Hill

The Blue Mountains needs 1000 dancers in 1920s-style costume to snatch a Guinness World Record back from England on Saturday, February 6.

The Hydro Charleston Challenge broke the official world record three years in a row but was thumped by the town of Bexhill in the UK in August with 503 people followed by an attempt with 975 dancers in London validated by Guinness in October.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron said: “We want that title back and we’re going to take it back in elegant art deco style.

“Technically we need 976 dancers to reclaim the record but this is the Hydro Majestic, so let’s raise the stakes and aim for a thousand dancers to really smash the record.’’

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt

The annual Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel on the lawn in front of the Belgravia accommodation wing.

Pre-register online (www.hydromajestic.com.au) or manually on the day from 9.30am and practice the dance routine at home to the online tutorial (see the website). Practice sessions will be held from 10am on the day, with the actual world record attempt to kick off at 11am.

“There’s plenty of room. If the lawn fills up or you prefer to dance on a hard surface, step into the historic tennis courts overlooking the exquisite Megalong Valley,’’ Ms Corkeron said.

“We’ll even spill into the carpark if we have to.’’

Anyone can take part in the Hydro Charleston Challenge. All participants need do is wear a costume and be able to follow the dance for five minutes.

Click HERE to watch a Charleston dance tutorial to practice in private before the big day.

“Assembling a costume could be as simple as wearing a boa, a drop-waist dress and some Mary-Jane shoes (the ones with the straps, buttons or ribbons across the top) for the ladies and a loose suit and a Fedora for the fellas.’’

Gold coin donations will be collected for the Rural Fire Service Blue Mountains district on entry.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The Hydro Charleston Challenge is a chance to let your hair down and show off against the backdrop of this fabulous flamboyant hotel.

“This is where Mark Foy held legendary outrageous parties, where the famous and the infamous came; this is where Australia’s first Prime Minister died; this was the centre of the Blue Mountains’ heyday.

The Blue Mountains held the record for three years in a row

The Blue Mountains held the record for three years in a row

“The Hydro Majestic is definitely back on the party scene with all the flare and style of its first heyday.’’

The 2016 Hydro Charleston Challenge will be held at 11am on Saturday, February 6, followed by the Majestic Long Lunch from 1pm to 5pm when guests in 1920s finery will graze informally from picnic hamper boxes packed with regional delicacies, promenade on the lawns and dance the afternoon away to the strains of a `20s-style band.

The Roaring 20s-themed weekend will begin on Friday, February 5, with the Gangster Casino Night to celebrate the era of breaking with tradition, crooks and prosperity – and this time there’s no prohibition. Net proceeds from the adults-only event will go to CareFlight aeromedical charity.

The weekend will close with the uber sophisticated Shanghai Nights of cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

The Hydro Charleston Challenge and other Roaring 20s events at the Hydro Majestic Hotel pay homage to the decade when the region cut loose in an endless round of hedonism – sumptuous architecture, costume balls and high teas, saucy clothing, outrageous (for the time) dancing and jazz music.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more event, accommodation and dining option information and bookings, to register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge and watch the tutorial of the Charleston dance HERE.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

The dance-off will be held on the historic tennis courts, the lawn in front of the Belgravia wing and the carpark

The dance-off will be held on the historic tennis courts, the lawn in front of the Belgravia wing and the carpark

 


Blue Mountains, NSW: Majestic Long Lunch a tasty festival event

Majestic Long Lunch 07

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                  Photos: David Hill

Retro foodies can indulge in some of the most delectable regional fare in true Roaring 20s style when the Hydro Majestic Hotel hosts the Majestic Long Lunch on Saturday, February 6.

Dressed in their most elegant 1920s-style finery, guests can indulge in a generous picnic hamper packed with scrumptious locally-made and sourced fare.

The Majestic Long Lunch will be one of four Roaring 20s-themed events to be held at the original Blue Mountains party palace, including a Gangster Casino Night on Friday, February 5, and the Hydro Charleston Challenge and Shanghai Nights on the Saturday.

The festival will celebrate the sumptuous architecture, saucy clothing, outrageous dancing and jazz music of the hedonistic heyday of Australia’s first tourist destination, the Blue Mountains.

Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Ballroom.

Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Ballroom.

 

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The food and wine of the Greater Blue Mountains region is absolutely on a par with anywhere in Australia.

“With some of the best chefs in the country, it’s no wonder – and we have more than thirty of them working with us across our four Escarpment Group properties including Mate Herceg who is creating the main course for the Majestic Long Lunch.

“Many of the chefs in this region bring to their menus influences from multicultural backgrounds and training but incorporate the local and regional produce found from a one hundred mile radius of the Blue Mountains. That all creates a flavour unique to the region.’’

 

 

Long LunchGoodies packed into the luxury picnic boxes at the Majestic Long Lunch will include antipasto by Princess Pantry; a main course of Holmbrae chicken marinated in Pig In The House cabernet sauvignon certified organic wine from Orange for 24 hours, house-cured speck, local braised champion mushrooms served with Bakehouse on Wentworth four-hour garlic croutons, crusty French baguette and fresh tossed salads created by Hydro Majestic Hotel head chef Mate Herceg; mouth-watering regional cheeses from The Carrington Cellars & Deli; and a wickedly indulgent dessert by Josophan’s Fine Chocolates.

Each course will be matched with locally produced wines available for purchase from The Majestic Marquee Bar.

John Calton and Lyndey Milan hamming it up at the Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Majestic Ballroom.

John Calton and Lyndey Milan hamming it up at the Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Majestic Ballroom.

 

Add the most famous hotel in Australia and the magnificent Megalong Valley as a backdrop, a line-up of special guests and leading food identities Lyndey Milan OAM and Joanna Savill, live jazz music, dancing and a fashion parade, and Majestic Long Lunch diners are set for the most deliciously saucy event of the season.

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au to book the Majestic Long Lunch ($95 per person), other Hydro Majestic Hotel events and to register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

Main course served at the 2015 Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Ballroom.

Main course served at the 2015 Majestic Long Lunch in the Hydro Ballroom.

 


Blue Mountains: Roaring `20s Gangster Casino Night

Claudia

Roaring 20s Festival patron Claudia Chan Shaw. Photo: David Hill

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

In the tradition of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz and Bugsy Siegel, the original Blue Mountains party palace will reawaken the spirit of its Roaring `20s heyday when the Hydro Majestic Hotel holds a Gangster Casino Night on Friday, February 5.

The event, which will kick off Roaring 20s-themed events at the hotel during that weekend, will celebrate the era of breaking with tradition, crooks and prosperity.

Guests can play Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, The Money Wheel with Majestic Money at casino-quality tables with professionally trained casino standard croupiers.

roulette-table-and-casino-elements-Download-Royalty-free-Vector-File-EPS-124667Prizes on the night will include accommodation packages, dinner and show tickets, day spa and high tea packages and more.

An 18 years plus age restriction applies for this event, which will be held from 9pm to 11pm.

Net proceeds from the event will go to CareFlight aeromedical charity. Donation receipts are available on the night for cash-in purchases only.

Established in 1986 with a mission to save lives, speed recovery and provide the highest standard of rapid response critical care, CareFlight has since helped more than 5000 patients a year.

CareFlight relationship development manager Andrew Whitelaw said: “CareFlight’s first mission, close to thirty years ago was flying two children after an accident in Lithgow. From those early beginnings, CareFlight has continued to service the greater Blue Mountains communities. Without the generous support of these communities, we would not be able to take off – literally.’’

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said the luxury hotel group was pleased to help CareFlight, which often assisted other emergency services with search and rescue, lost bushwalkers and urgent medical transportation by highly trained and qualified medical staff.

The Gangster Casino Night would provide the pinch of outrageousness the Hydro Majestic was renowned for when it was opened by retail doyenne Mark Foy in 1904.

“Foy held legendary parties at the Hydro. They were totally over the top and hedonistic. His `Palace in the wilderness’ was where everyone who wanted to have fun went – the famous and the infamous.

“We’re still partying.

download“There will be no cigars or opium like there was in the 1920s, but there’s no prohibition in 2016 so our bars will be open and serving a range of exotic cocktails.’’

Elegant gangsters and flappers can relive the era of sumptuous architecture, saucy clothing, outrageous dancing and jazz music at the most famous hotel in Australia.

“Gangsters were most definitely criminals but the mob bosses weren’t ruffians. They always look snazzy – Al Capone was just as sophisticated as Rudolph Valentino,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

To look the part, gents could wear a three-piece suit (pinstriped if possible) accentuated by a contrasting tie (never a bow tie) and suspenders, with a dark overcoat, a fedora hat, black dress shoes with white spats, a pocket square, watch chain with a watch and a thin, straight moustache.

Flappers sported short sleek hair, shorter shapeless shift dress, a flat chest, dramatic makeup (often applied in public), exposed limbs and epitomising the spirit of a reckless rebel who danced the night away in the jazz age.

Accessorise with a long string of beads; a beaded skullcap, fascinator headpiece or scarf; long satin gloves; stockings rolled down just below the knee; and Mary Jane-style shoes. Hair was worn in a bob, a chignon; or waves or kiss-curls around the hairline.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt. Photo: David Hill

The popular festival will continue to swing at 11am on Saturday, February 6, when approximately 520 people attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston at the Hydro Majestic Charleston Challenge.

That will be followed by the Majestic Long Lunch from 1pm to 5pm featuring regional food and wine, special guests, dancing and jazz music.

Guests can complete their immersive 1920s experience with Shanghai Nights of cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au to book the Gangster Casino Night ($65 per person) and other Hydro Majestic Hotel events and register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Headline Publicity and Deep Hill Media

 


Blue Mountains: Naughty dance-off set to raise world record

Charleston Challenge 01

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                 Photos: David Hill

A little bit naughty, a little bit scandalous, a little bit sexy but ooh so majestically classy: the Hydro Charleston Challenge will high kick the original Blue Mountains party palace back to its famous roots on Saturday, February 6.

The annual Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston will be held on the lawn in front of the Belgravia accommodation wing at 11am.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron said: “There’s plenty of room. If the lawn fills up or you prefer to dance on a hard surface, step into the historic tennis courts overlooking the exquisite Megalong Valley.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt

“It’s crucial that we have at least 520 dancers to reclaim our title (let’s aim for 600 to really smash the record), so we’ll even spill into the carpark if we have to.’’

After holding the title for two years in a row, the Blue Mountains relinquished the mantle in August after a successful challenge by the Town of Bexhill in the UK with 503 people.

“It’s lovely to share it around and give someone else a turn but really, recognition for the biggest naughty knees-up belongs to the Hydro Majestic. We want it back and we’re going to take it back in true art deco style.’’

Anyone can take part in the Hydro Charleston Challenge. All participants need do is wear a costume and be able to follow the dance for five minutes.

“Assembling a costume could be as simple as wearing a boa, a drop-waist dress and some Mary-Jane shoes (the ones with the straps, buttons or ribbons across the top) for the ladies and a loose suit and a Fedora for the fellas.’’

Gold coin donations will be collected for the Rural Fire Service Blue Mountains district on entry.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Events such as the Hydro Charleston Challenge is what this fabulous hotel was built for – the chance to let your hair down and show off.

“Original owner Mark Foy was famous for his outrageous parties. We are proud to announce now that the most famous hotel in Australia is well and truly back on the party scene with the flare and style of its first heyday – all with the trademark Hydro Majestic elegance of course.’’

The 2016 Hydro Charleston Challenge will be held at 11am on Saturday, February 6, followed by the Majestic Long Lunch from 1pm to 5pm featuring food and wine and special guest Lyndey Milan OAM.

12304298_10153738764324029_660090830147222258_oGuests in 1920s finery will graze informally from picnic hamper boxes packed with regional delicacies, promenade on the lawns and dance the afternoon away to the strains of a 1920s-style band.

The Roaring 20s-themed weekend will begin on Friday, February 5, with the Gangster Casino Night to celebrate the era of breaking with tradition, crooks and prosperity – and this time there’s no prohibition. Net proceeds from the adults-only event will go to CareFlight aeromedical charity.

The weekend will close with the uber sophisticated Shanghai Nights of cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

The Hydro Charleston Challenge and other Roaring 20s events at the Hydro Majestic Hotel pay homage to the decade when the region cut loose in an endless round of hedonism – sumptuous architecture, costume balls and high teas, saucy clothing, outrageous (for the time) dancing and jazz music.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more event, accommodation and dining option information and bookings and to register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

12356947_10153738765479029_4612624235059340938_o


Blue Mountains: Hydro cuts loose for majestic good time

 

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By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                       Photos: David Hill

Sumptuous architecture, saucy clothing, outrageous dancing and jazz music – the original Blue Mountains party palace will high kick back to its hedonistic heyday when it hosts Roaring 20s events in February.

Festival events will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel on February 5 and 6.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Original Hydro owner Mark Foy held legendary parties at the hotel. You can still feel that energy in the place.

Hydro Casino Night final image“With just the right mix of decadence and mischief, all elegantly conducted of course, the Hydro is the perfect venue to celebrate the era when Australia’s first tourist destination kicked up its heels for a decade-long party – we’re still partying.’’

The most famous hotel in Australia sat out a few dances in recent years but has undergone an extensive sumptuous revamp and has a full social calendar once more.

The Roaring 20s Festival will begin on Friday, February 5, with the Gangster Casino Night to celebrate the era of breaking with tradition, crooks and prosperity – and this time there’s no prohibition.

Play Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, The Money Wheel with Majestic Money at casino-quality tables with professionally trained casino standard croupiers.

Prizes on the night will include accommodation packages, dinner and show tickets, day spa and high tea packages and more.

An 18 years plus age restriction applies for this event, which will be held from 9pm to 11pm.

Net proceeds from the event will go to CareFlight aeromedical charity. Donation receipts are available on the night for cash-in purchases only.

12339370_10153738764369029_809297172751268176_oThe popular festival will continue to swing at 11am on Saturday, February 6, when approximately 600 people attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston at the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

The Blue Mountains relinquished the mantle in August after a successful challenge by the Town of Bexhill in the UK with 503 people.

The dance-off will be held on the lawn in front of the Belgravia wing, the historic tennis courts overlooking the Megalong Valley and spill into the carpark in front of the Hydro Majestic Boutique.

The Hydro Charleston Challenge will be followed by the Majestic Long Lunch from 1pm to 5pm featuring food and wine and special guest Lyndey Milan OAM.

(l-r) Jodie Van Der Velden, Randall Walker, Lyndey Milan OAM and Pam Seaborn at a previous Long Lunch

(l-r) Jodie Van Der Velden, Randall Walker, Lyndey Milan OAM and Pam Seaborn at a previous Long Lunch

Guests in 1920s finery will graze informally from picnic hamper boxes packed with regional delicacies, promenade on the lawns and dance the afternoon away to the strains of a 1920s-style band.

Guests can complete their immersive 1920s experience with Shanghai Nights of cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

“This will be a very beautiful event which reminds people of the romance of the 1920s and the elegance of the Hydro Majestic rather than the flappers and gangsters,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“We will recreate the softness of the lighting, the feathers and fabrics, the sophisticated lines of the architecture. It will be like living a fabulous dream.’’

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more event, accommodation and dining option information and bookings and to register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

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Hydro Majestic to host Roaring 20s events

Charleston Challenge at the Hydro Majestic Hotel.

Charleston Challenge at the Hydro Majestic Hotel.

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group         Photos: David Hill

The original Blue Mountains party palace will be a majestic venue at which to kick off the annual Roaring 20s Festival in February.

Beginning on Friday, February 5, the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath will host several stylish Roaring 20s Festival events during the weekend.

The original Blue Mountains party palace

The original Blue Mountains party palace

The festival pays homage to the decade when the region cut loose in an endless round of hedonism – sumptuous architecture, costume balls and high teas, saucy clothing, outrageous (for the time) dancing and jazz music.

Other venues around the Blue Mountains will also hold festival events throughout February.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Original Hydro owner Mark Foy held legendary parties at the hotel. You can still feel that energy in the place.

“With just the right mix of decadence and mischief, all elegantly conducted of course, the Hydro is the perfect venue to celebrate the era when Australia’s first tourist destination kicked up its heels for a decade-long party – we’re still partying.’’

The most famous hotel in Australia sat out a few dances in recent years but has undergone an extensive sumptuous revamp and has a full social calendar once more.

The popular festival will swing into action when more than 550 people attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston at the Hydro Majestic Charleston Challenge on Saturday, February 6. The Blue Mountains relinquished the mantle in August after a successful challenge by the Town of Bexhill in the UK with 503 people.

The Charleston Challenge will be followed by the Majestic Long Lunch featuring local and regional food and wine, as well as further activities at the Hydro Majestic and other venues around the Blue Mountains during February.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

 


Lithgow, NSW: Halloween festival a monster success

Main St shopkeepers embraced the event and had window displays

Main St shopkeepers embraced the event and had window displays

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).

More than 27,000 locals and visitors attended

More than 27,000 locals and visitors attended

 

 

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.

A flying vampire was part of the entertainment

A flying vampire was part of the entertainment

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Lithgow Mayor Maree Statham

Lithgow Mayor Maree Statham

 

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.

 

Zombies from Dance for Life! were unleashed at the ball

Zombies from Dance for Life! were unleashed at the ball

“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.’’

A Michael Jackson show was popular

A Michael Jackson show was popular

 

 

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.”

 

 

Zig Zag Brewery director Adrian Schindler at Dracula's Masquerade Ball

Zig Zag Brewery director Adrian Schindler at Dracula’s Masquerade Ball

 

 

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.

 

Bathurst State MP Paul Toole

Bathurst State MP Paul Toole

 

 

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.’’

 

The Zig Zag Brewery became Dracula's lair for the event

The Zig Zag Brewery became Dracula’s lair for the event

 

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.

  • Click HERE to view a full gallery of images from Dracula’s Masquerade Ball and HERE for a full collection of images from the community street festival.
  • Lithgow City Council is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity
  • Ghastly ghouls mingled with fairytale characters

    Ghastly ghouls mingled with fairytale characters


Special guests counting down to LithgowHalloween15

Countess Pamela Pire will sink her teeth into local history during LithgowHalloween15

Countess Pamela Pire will sink her teeth into local history during LithgowHalloween15

 

By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Tourism                         Photos: David Hill

Transylvania royalty and the thrilling reincarnation of a charismatic pop superstar will entertain the crowds at LithgowHalloween15 on October 31.

Oozing sass and Gothic glamour, Countess Pamela Pire

Oozing sass and Gothic glamour, Countess Pamela Pire

Heiress to what was once the great Pire Coffers of Transylvania, esteemed Doctor of the Ology of undying and 1926 Transylvanian Olympics champion high jumper Countess Pamela Pire has travelled the world sharing her knowledge of the great Transylvania evaporation and will enlighten Lithgow on the darker side of local history.

Oozing sass and Gothic glamour, the aristocrat comes from a long line of Transylvanian royalty. In fact, she could be the last remaining member of that royal bloodline.

Lithgow City Council Mayor Maree Statham said: “I very much look forward to meeting Countess Pamela, a woman after my own heart of working for the good of the community – and glamorous fashion.

“Lithgow welcomes all visitors warmly, especially those who are interested in our rich history. With ancient Aboriginal ancestors, a fascinating industrial past, bushrangers, explorers and pioneers, there is so much for the Countess to sink her teeth into.’’

Countess Pamela Pire will vamp up Halloween celebrations

Countess Pamela Pire will vamp up Halloween celebrations

After busy-bodying through history identifying the bodies of victims of the migration epidemic, the European blue blood is the notorious expert on the migration and settlement of Transylvanians and has come to Australia in search of an original Transylvanian migrant family rumoured to have settled in Lithgow.

The honorary HalloweenLithgow15 guest is an esteemed lecturer at the University of Bram Stoker and thrice winner of the Nosferatau award for shadow writing.

Countess Pamela will appear on the Energy Australia stage, while amazing dangerous dancer Jason Jackson will channel the extraordinary talents of one of the world’s most mesmerising artists and entertainers, Michael Jackson, on the McDonald’s Stage in the Funky area.

The superstar continues to live on through the MJ Forever show, a mind blowing, high energy dance spectacular starring tribute artist Jason Jackson.

Fans can relive the unforgettable costumes, charisma and moves of the King of Pop and even show off their own moonwalk talents and robotic moves at the Thriller dance-off.

Jason Jackson is the charismatic reincarnation of the King of Pop

Jason Jackson is the charismatic reincarnation of the King of Pop

Other entertainment throughout the event will include a Ronald McDonald magic show, circus acrobats and the Waratah Drum Corps.

Featuring spectacular Vivid-style lighting displays and spooky decorations, the main shopping strip will be 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.

LithgowHalloween15 is proudly sponsored by Lithgow City Council, Centennial Coal, Treeview Estates Over 55’s LivingEnergyAustralia and McDonalds Restuarant Lithgow.

Contact the Lithgow Visitor Information Centre on 6350 3230 for more information.

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.

* Lithgow Tourism is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

Countess Pamela Pire will glam it up for Lithgow

Countess Pamela Pire will glam it up for Lithgow


Blue Mountains: Hydro revs up for majestic car rally

Porsche will be represented at the Hydro Majestic Car Rally

Porsche will be represented at the Hydro Majestic Car Rally

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group             Modern car photos: David Hill

The original Blue Mountains party palace will rev up when the Hydro Majestic Hotel hosts a vintage and modern super car show on the November 28 and 29 weekend.

Veteran cars such as this 1912 Buick will be a feature

Veteran cars such as this 1912 Buick will be a feature

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Original owner of the hotel, retailer Mark Foy was a huge car enthusiast and actually owned a number of the first cars brought into Australia and inspired the first car rally from Melbourne to Sydney and subsequently, Sydney to the Blue Mountains’’

Opened originally as The Hydropathic Establishment on July 4, 1904, during a snowstorm, a group of special guests arrived by train at Penrith where Mr Foy had a fleet of motor cars waiting to drive them to the clifftop hotel in the upper mountains.

Totally enamoured with the motor car, Foy then began Australia’s first motoring touring business, travelling from Blackheath to Jenolan Caves. With the exception of a line of steam omnibuses in Western Australia, it was the first public service motoring venture in Australia.

An arduous journey even today, the trip was taken in two 9-h.p De Dion cars, propelled by petrol and each seating six people.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph of September 29, 1903, reads: “…and so far they have given every satisfaction, doing the journey in about three hours and a half.

“The visitors were entertained by Mr. Mark Foy, who is an enthusiastic patron of the sport of motoring, at his residence at Medlow, and great interest was taken by them in the preparations being made there for the erection of an elaborate hotel and hydropathic establishment.’’

Modern super cars from stables such as Audi will rev into the Hydro Majestic Hotel carpark

Modern super cars from stables such as Audi will rev into the Hydro Majestic Hotel carpark

Since relaunching last October after a sumptuous refurbishment, the Hydro Majestic is once again a luxurious pit stop.

“The Hydro Majestic is right on the Great Western Highway, enroute to the Eastern Creek and Bathurst race tracks and the highway is a well-travelled scenic drive route for tourists, so seeing Lamborghinis and Ferraris in our carpark is not unusual for us,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“The Hydro Majestic has a reputation for being a little racy, a bit naughty and outrageous so we didn’t want to settle for one or two – we will have dozens of the fastest, meanest and sexiest cars that have ever been on the road.’’

The Hydro Majestic car show will feature modern super cars and veteran cars on display and offering joy rides for visiting guests.

Car enthusiasts are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the motoring experience and stay at least one night at an Escarpment Group property, each with private parking.

Go to www.hydromajestic.com.au for information about the car rally and www.escarpmentgroup.com.au to book accommodation and dining.

The car rally will highlight the famous hotel's racier side

The car rally will highlight the famous hotel’s racier side

 


Blue Mountains: Full moon rising over Hydro Majestic festival

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival added spring colour to Australia's most famous hotel

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival added spring colour to Australia’s most famous hotel

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                                    Photos: David Hill

A full lunar sphere rising above the original Blue Mountains party palace set the tone for the inaugural Hydro Majestic Hotel Moon Festival last weekend.

Chinese lanterns provided a cheerful glow

Chinese lanterns provided a cheerful glow

 

Several hundred people attended the event on Saturday despite inclement weather and those who visited on Sunday were rewarded with a clear sky and full moon.

The Moon Festival celebrated the season of re-awakening, traditional Asian culture, family and friends, new growth, harmony and the blessings of prosperity and abundance.

Guests wandered the harvest-themed stalls showcasing local and regional produce and feasted on Asian street food including noodles, dumplings and moon cake all under the cheerful glow of Chinese lanterns strung between the trees and the world-famous hotel buildings.

 

 

A dragon dance was part of the entertainment

A lion dance was part of the entertainment

 

There was also a Buddhist prayer session and a colourful lion dance performance.

Floating lanterns were an attraction for children

Floating lanterns were an attraction for children

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The Moon Festival was a great success. People came because the most famous hotel in Australia has come back to life and because we put on an event for the whole family.

 

 

“Official figures recently confirmed that the Blue Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in Australia and the Echo Point Visitors Information Centre rated the highest performing in the state but people need a reason to visit and Mark Foy’s `Palace in the wilderness’ is doing just that for locals and visitors.’’

 

A drum performance was part of the entertainment

A drum performance was part of the entertainment

 

 

 

The Moon Festival was just one of the events planned at the Hydro Majestic, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, including Oktoberfest from 12pm to 5pm this Saturday and Sunday, when visitors can nibble on fried chicken and sip German beer from commemorative steins.

Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be an annual event

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be an annual event

 


Lithgow NSW vamps it up for Halloween 2015

Halloween at Lithgow will be freaky fun for the whole family

Halloween at Lithgow will be freaky fun for the whole family

 

By Ellen Hill for Lithgow Tourism                    Photos: David Hill

Macabre monsters, creepy clowns and scary skeletons can venture from the shadows and into the light when the town of Lithgow celebrates Halloween with a night of ghoulish glee on October 31.

Halloween dress-up fun for all ages

Halloween dress-up fun for all ages

Featuring spectacular Vivid-style lighting displays and spooky decorations, the main shopping strip will be 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.

The event will be organised and hosted by Lithgow City Council, with support from local sponsors.

Dress as your favourite fun or frightening character

Dress as your favourite fun or frightening character

 

 

Lithgow Mayor Maree Statham said: “Our Halloween event is for the people of Lithgow to celebrate their community, to support our local shops and provide a safe Trick or Treat environment for our children at 4.00pm.  We have had such a wonderful time in the past few years and want to share our community spirit with others and invite visitors to join us on October 31.”

Visitors and locals are encouraged to immerse themselves in the spirit of the occasion and dress up as a fun or frightening Halloween character such as a vampire, Dracula, a fantasy personality, goblin or fairy.

 

 

Lithgow Mayor Maree Statham welcomes visitors to the town

Lithgow Mayor Maree Statham welcomes visitors to the town

 

The top section of Main St will be dedicated a Family Friendly zone sponsored by Centennial Coal, with plenty of activities for children.

The `Flavours Long Lunch’ catered by CJ’s Good Food Restaurant will be held in the second section near the Old Exchange Hotel, which will also have a fashion parade sponsored by Treeview Estates and market stalls with local produce.

Spooks and zombies of all kinds will over-run Main St

Spooks and zombies of all kinds will over-run Main St

 

A `Dining with the Dead’ area will be set up in the Cook St Plaza, and McDonald’s Lithgow will sponsor a Funky Zone for youth between Cook St Plaza and the National Australia Bank building.

The Fangtastic outdoor dining area with a maze and presided over by a large vampire will be at the bottom of Main St.

 

 

The Energy Australia-sponsored main entertainment stage will be opposite the Grand Central Hotel between the Family Friendly and Flavours precincts, while the Funky stage will feature a fashion parade.

The John Joseph building will again be a feature

The John Joseph building will again be a feature

 

 

There will be circus acrobats, magic and the Waratah Drum Corps,’’ Mayor Statham said.There will be plenty of special effects and vampire antics, and be sure to keep an eye out for werewolf waiters and chefs on stilts lurking in the crowd.

“I am looking forward to meeting Countess Pamela Pire, esteemed Doctor of the Ology of undying at the University of Bram Stoker and champion high jumper at the 1926 Transylvanian Olympics, and learning how her history is interwoven with Lithgow.’’

 

Meet all manner of weird and wonderful characters

Meet all manner of weird and wonderful characters

 

 

 

Lithgow has a range of accommodation options available, as well as in neighbouring areas. Contact the Lithgow Visitor Information Centre on 6350 3230 for help with your accommodation needs.

“We have the best of everything in Lithgow: the majestic Greater Blue Mountains escarpments glowing in the afternoon sun, the rolling pasturelands of the central west, the industrial heritage of our nation and some of the best examples of colonial Australia to be seen anywhere,” Mayor Statham said.

 

 

Developing innovative promotional activities for the enjoyment of the community which encourage an increase in business activities in the town centres is part of the council’s strategy to strengthen our economy in the Community Strategic Plan 2026.

* Lithgow Tourism is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

Have a fangtastic time at Lithgow Halloween

Have a fangtastic time at Lithgow Halloween


Revel in spring at Hydro Majestic Moon Festival, Blue Mountains

Celebrate the season of re-awakening at one of the most famous hotels in the world

Celebrate the season of re-awakening at one of the most famous hotels in the world. Photo: Brigitte Grant Photography

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Revel in the season of re-awakening when the original Blue Mountains party palace, the Hydro Majestic Hotel, hosts a spring Moon Festival to celebrate traditional Asian culture, family and friends, new growth, harmony and the blessings of prosperity and abundance on September 26 and 27.

Wander the harvest-themed stalls showcasing local and regional produce at the undercover market by the cheerful glow of Chinese lanterns.

Sup on noodles, dumplings, barbecue skewers, wok-fried finger food and Asian-inspired desserts; taste traditional moon cake; see the exciting dragon dance and drum performance; and learn about the long association of Chinese culture at one of the most famous grand hotels in the world, recently refurbished back to its original glory.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said it was believed to be the first time a formal celebration with dragon dance had been held in the Blue Mountains.

“The Hydro Majestic actually has a very rich Asian history.

“Around the turn of the 20th century, Chinese workers disillusioned with the lack of fortune in the Bathurst goldfields, found themselves stranded in the Blue Mountains with no money to return to Sydney.

“Mark Foy, the great Sydney retailer who built the Hydro Majestic Hotel, was fascinated with all things Asian and happily employed many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, who worked as a cook at Foy’s Sydney home and managing the mayhem at the Hydro Majestic for thirty-five years.’’

Many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, worked at the Hydro Majestic Hotel during the Mark Foy era.

Many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, worked at the Hydro Majestic Hotel during the Mark Foy era.

The inaugural Hydro Majestic Moon Festival and Oktoberfest the following weekend will also celebrate the genuinely iconic hotel’s return to its rightful place as an alluring playground to locals of and visitors to the Greater Blue Mountains, Mr Bruegger said.

“The Hydro was Mark Foy’s `Palace in the wilderness’. It was over the top, a bit naughty and Foy himself was outrageous at times.

“Escarpment Group injected the building with that decadence during the refurbishment. Now we are filling the social calendar with fresh festivals and events to once again fill the hotel with life and laughter.

“The Hydro Majestic is once again the place to be to have fun.’’

The Moon Festival and Oktoberfest also gave travellers another reason to visit the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and Mr Bruegger encouraged visitors to stay at least one night to explore the region.

“We have plenty of beds, many different dining options and a kilometre-long world-famous hotel to explore,’’ he said.

“But we’re not greedy – roam the spectacular Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mt Tomah; wander the boutiques in the quaint mountain villages; stretch your legs on one of 400 bush tracks; ride the Scenic skyway, cablecar and train; and cuddle a koala at Featherdale Wildlife Park to or from Sydney.’’

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be held at the hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 2pm to 9pm Saturday, September 26, and Sunday, September 27. The dragon dance will be staged at 4pm both days.

Go to www.escarpmentgroup.com.au to book accommodation and dining options at one of the four Escarpment Group properties in the upper Blue Mountains (the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, Lilianfels Resort & Spa and Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant).


Leura Harvest Festival connects with community and its sustainable bounty

Leura Harvest Festival will be held in the famous Leura Mall on May 3, 2015.

Leura Harvest Festival will be held in the famous Leura Mall on May 3, 2015.

By Ellen Hill for Leura Village Association

Discover nature’s bounty in the Blue Mountains at the second Leura Harvest Festival on Sunday May 3 and immerse in innovative sustainable living, browse more than 60 street stalls, and  witness the reinvention of the iconic Australian lamington.

Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley executive chef Jason Martin is festival ambassador

Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley executive chef Jason Martin is festival ambassador

Set among the famous cherry trees of Leura Mall, the Leura Village Association event will showcase all facets of sustainable living including outstanding regional produce, handmade and recycled items, to the latest clever initiatives in the Blue Mountains and wider region.

Visitors and locals can learn about everything from food preserving to clean energy, permaculture, beekeeping and micro-farming from an impressive line-up of guest speakers. Visitors can also meet this year’s Leura Harvest Festival ambassador, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley executive chef Jason Martin who is passionate about sourcing the very best regional, seasonal organic produce for the resort’s restaurants.

Other highlights will include regional wine and beer tastings, jam-making and knitting competitions, the traditional art of wool spinning, a chook show and dozens of stalls exhibiting sustainable, organic and locally grown food and produce, clean energy.

Leura Village Association president Barry Jarrott. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Leura Village Association president Barry Jarrott. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Leura Village Association president Barry Jarrott said: “The Leura Harvest Festival is a result of a growing demand for quality locally-grown produce from a population that is disillusioned with the multinational corporations that dictate what we eat, how it is produced and where it comes from.

“The success of last year’s festival proves that the Blue Mountains and wider community craves a stronger connection with the environment, better quality food and support of local growers and manufacturers.”

The second Leura Harvest Festival has received funding from the NSW Department of Premier and State Cabinet’s 2014 Bushfire Recovery Grant. The festival’s theme is “connecting the community’’.

The event will celebrate food from a 100 mile radius and promote recycling and re-purposing and encourage visitors to notice and immerse themselves in the magnificent Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area around them.

Go to www.leuravillage.com.au to find out more about Leura and its accommodation options. Visit http://leuravillage.com.au/fairsandfestivals/ for details about Leura Harvest Festival and event registrations. To apply for a stall, email bookings@leuravillage.com.au.

 

Leura Harvest Festival will be set among the famous cherry trees of Leura Mall. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Leura Harvest Festival will be set among the famous cherry trees of Leura Mall. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media