Spring is here, and with it, one of our local areas most exciting events – the Emerge Festival. Celebrating our rich cultural diversity, the month-long festival includes food, arts and music, markets, live performances and one massive street party. And this year’s festival has an extra special focus on kids and teens. So get ready to get out and about and celebrate the changing of the seasons… it’s time to Emerge!
All Day Events
The North Shore’s biggest street party – The Emerge Festival StreetFair – is on Saturday 1 September, when hundreds of members from community groups will dance and sing their way through the Chatswood CBD down Anderson Street and Victoria Avenue past The Concourse, finishing near Chatswood Chase. The Matsuri Sydney Japan Festival on September 8 celebrates Japanese culture through traditional arts and crafts, performances and food stalls. On September 22 the Willoughby Uniting Church hosts its Spring Fair with entertainment, food, kids activities and plenty of stalls selling food, plants, second hand goods and more. And The Concourse hosts its Festival Oasis from October 3-5 where there’ll be live music, hair braiding, a pop-up library and special family meal deals at The Concourse restaurants. Plus, kids can go backstage at The Concourse for free dance classes and DIY workshops – slime making, dream catcher and tie dying. And as the sun sets experience screenings of Boss Baby, The Emoji Movie and Disney’s Descendants on the Urban Screen.
A Kids’ Paradise
Willoughby City Council Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney said there was more for older children in this year’s Festival, including teens. “There are plenty of activities for all ages, but this year, we’ve tried to better cater for teenagers and young adults, including video gaming, dance classes and workshops,” Mayor Giles-Gidney said. In particular, during September 1’s Street Fair, the Kidzone stage will showcase gymnastics, dance and hip hop, and the Esports Stage will become a gaming central for gamers and CosPlay enthusiasts. Later in the month, Jeral Puppets present a series of performances at the Puppeteria Theatre in Castle Cove, while The Concourse welcomes the ever-popular The Gruffalo in a live stage performance.
Throughout September and October there are multiple opportunities to show your creative side and appreciate the works of others, including exhibitions, lectures, performances, fashion, a film festival and more. The Concourse Art Space and the Council foyer area will both have exhibition for the community to view and enjoy. Chatswood Chase welcomes Claudia Chan Shaw for a series of informative lectures on fashion ranging from Coco Chanel and the evolution of the little black dress, through to the origin of the stiletto shoe. Hoyts in the Mandarin Centre presents the Joy House Film Festival – a selection of short films based on the themes of joy and diversity.
Your taste buds won’t miss out during the Emerge Festival, with an abundance of fabulous events. The inaugural Within 100 Local Produce Market on September 22 promises to be an exciting way to support local – it supports and celebrates local businesses producing top quality gourmet food within 100 km of Chatswood. If you love all the Asian food on offer in Chatswood, but need some expert guidance on how to find the best of the best, there’s a food tour on September 29 that will celebrate our local hub of authentic Asian cuisine and the culture of its residents. It’s back! The Willoughby Craft Beer Fair returns to the Willoughby Hotel on September 16, showcasing the latest and greatest craft beers with wine, local cuisine, live music and entertainment for the kids. Plus, throughout the month Chatswood’s Dougherty Community Centre and MOSAIC Centre will host workshops and the popular Food Swap event, where you can meet other friendly green thumbs and exchange your excess produce.
The Concourse Concert Hall will echo out those famous words, “That’ll do pig, that’ll do”, when Babe in Symphony takes place on September 2. With the movie playing on a big screen, accompanied by a live performance of the score by the Willoughby Symphony, it’s an event not to be missed! Also throughout the month of the Emerge Festival, you can enjoy musical performances ranging from the tunes of Johnny Cash, symphonic wind ensembles, pianists and Cantonese opera. The Sydney City Youth Ballet will perform with the Sydney Youth Orchestra Philharmonic. Plus, The Bootleg Beatles (direct from London and back by popular demand) will once again take to The Concourse stage to showcase their stunning authenticity and musical credibility.
Throughout the month, you can learn how to care for our green and sustainable city in a fascinating range of eco events and workshops. These include Father’s Day Fixit, hosted by the Repair Café in Lane Cove, where you can come and learn how to get some of Dad’s beloved items working again, workshops on energy efficiency and feel-good gardening, nature connection and sustainable housing.
Discover New Things
As if all of the fabulous events above weren’t enough, our local area has brought together a number of further opportunities for residents to learn and try new things during the Emerge Festival. There’s an Aboriginal Cultural Bushwalk, a Coastal Birdwatch tour, a Bush Scramble for pre-schoolers, gymnastics, bowls, orienteering and croquet open days, plus a Willoughby Mystery Bus Tour where you can discover some of the hidden gems of our local area.