This weekend half of Melbourne seems to have been holding festivals of one kind or another, with varying success.
The Lygon Street festa in Carlton is an annual event. The great thing about Lygon Street is its international flavour, which means you’re unlikely to run into Pauline Hanson there. If the Middle East crisis is really going to be solved, it won’t be in the UN, it’ll be in a place like Lygon Street. For the Festa the street itself is closed off and the people pour in to sample cuisine from all over the world, to ride various terrifying amusement rides and to buy over-priced novelty balloons.
Contrast this with the Malvern festival, which is a far less adventurous affair. It appears to involve nothing more than a free stagecoach ride up the main street (which isn’t closed off) and a few clowns wandering around doing face painting for the kids and handing out balloons. One shop on Station Street looked particularly pathetic, the only noticeable decoration being a single withered balloon in the doorway. No wonder there seemed to be even less people around there than on a usual Saturday.
We didn’t make it to the Elsternwick festival on Sunday, but I fail to see how any event that included ABC weatherman Edwin Maher’s pointer competition could be anything other than a triumph.