Viva La Gong, 2009

A highlight of my year is the Viva La Gong celebrations, Wollongong’s Multicultural festival celebrating the diversity and talents of Wollongong and the greater Illawarra.

This year I didn’t make it to the street parade but spent the afternoon in MacCabe Park, Wollongong. It was a really bright and sunny day and there was a real party atmosphere with colourful Circus WOW and Circus Monoxide, great music by Lior and other artists.

There were many food tents offering delicious morsels which kept the party atmosphere alive.

The Portugese Kitchen selling portugese chicken burgers, bacon and egg roll, marinated steak roll and chorizo burgers was popular. I settled on a portugese chorizo roll (minus the roll) at $6. It was most definitely spicy and packed a lot of flavour!

Another popular stall was the Turkish Gozleme, a savoury traditional Turkish hand made and hand rolled pastry. Fresh pastry is rolled out, filled and sealed, then cooked over a griddle. The name derives from the Turkish word göz meaning eye.

Often served with fillings such as spinach and fetta or ricotta. Delicious with a squeeze of lemon.

After lunch I dragged a chair over to the Circus Monoxide area and watched children of all ages learning Circus tricks. There were several circus people making their way around MacCabe Park on stilts, inviting people to take part in the workshop.

There were also the Wollongong Illawarra Roller Derby girls, promoting the Wollongong Illawarra Roller Derby WIRD event Rock and Roller First Blood featuring Violent Femmes VS The Maidens of Mayhem on Sunday 29th of November. Doors open at 12PM

Venue: Sports hub at URAC, University of Wollongong

*Ms Heidi-Hoops
*The Footloose Rockers
*Skate Joust

Tickets online at or at
Meakins Jewellers
230 Crown St Wollongong


Oak Flats Rollerscating Rink
137 Industrial rd Oak Flats
Ph: (02) 4257 6858

and a popular stall each year, face painting

There were other events happening around Wollongong. Check out the Viva La Gong Blog for more of the action and for photos being uploaded since the event.

Other links:

Circus WOW
Circus Monoxide
WIRD – Wollongong Illawarra Roller Derby
Words and Photography by Vanessa Pike-Russell

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