09/03/2015 - 09/03/2015 26 °C
Moomba is held annually in Melbourne, and is Australia's largest free community festival and one of Australia's longest running community festivals. It is celebrated during the Labour Day long weekend (over four days, from Friday to the second Monday in March). Moomba is culturally important to Melbourne, having been celebrated since 1955 and regularly attracts up to a million people with a record attendance of 1.7 million set in 1996.
Traditional events include the Moomba parade, crowning of Moomba monarchs, fireworks displays, carnivals in the gardens along the river, river activities including watersports, water floats, the birdman rally, as well as live music and bands.
A parade (or "procession") and floats through the streets of Melbourne have been a key part of the Moomba festival since its beginning.
Each year it attracts over 100,000 people to Melbourne's city centre as well as being shown on free-to-air television in Melbourne.
The first Moomba procession was held in 1955. It was first televised in 1957, the year after the Melbourne 1956 Olympics.
The floats have an annual theme, usually an elaboration on "Let's get together and have fun", the avowed mission and vision statement of Moomba and are usually from sister cities (of which Melbourne has six), schools and community groups.
They also promote some aspect of the arts, like singing, dancing, or design.
Swanston Street is the traditional home of the floats and spine of the city.
This year close to 2000 eager and passionate participants joined the fold.
Community designed floats dazzled in the spotlight this year and were accompanied by droves of talented performance troupes, professional and amateur dance groups, as well as school participants.
The final entry in the procession is Melbourne's Dai Loong Association’s Millennium Dragon, which normally winds its way from the ground floor to the lower ground of the museum hibernating in readiness to be awakened for the Chinese Spring Festival (Jan-Feb) and the Moomba Festival (March) each year.
Standing over three metres high, the Millennium dragon is the largest in the world requiring eight people just to carry the head.
After all have passed through, the children play in the closed off street with the celebration confetti