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Why our festival parade is brilliant on many levels

On the surface the annual street parade for Fisher’s Ghost festival looks just like any other procession.

Bu there’s so much more going on when you look a little harder.

When the pipe bands and the concert bands march past, followed by the imposing fire engine of our local bush fire brigades, they bring the crowds to life, waving and clapping.

Indeed they bring poor old Queen Street to life for the one time of the year.

And while local scouts march in the parade, some of their young members walk along the crowds on either side of Queen Street selling fisher’s ghost stick figures.

The crowds are mostly families, many of whom walked from their homes, east of Oxley Street.

After the parade you will see them all walking back or headed to the carnival at Bradbury Oval.

But back to the parade, which for an hour or so presents a colourful – and insightful – reflection of who’s who and what’s what in Campbelltown.

Members of our large Aboriginal community are the first group at the head of the parade, and bringing up the rear is Uncle Ivan Wellington.

He is smiling widely and when he sees the South West Voice he spreads his arms and says: “see what a big, wonderful mob we have.’’

Soon after another mob comes up the rise from Dumaresq Street – we’re stationed outside the Noodle House – a sporting mob.

It’s the big red and white contingent from East Campbelltown Eagles rugby league football club, proud premiers in the 2018 Sydney Shield once again.

The familiar face of their chief, Daniel Draper, is there, and he, like Uncle Ivan, looks extremely pleased to be out here on this lovely evening in the heart of Campbelltown.

There’s a couple of brilliant nautical floats, as per this year’s parade rules: ghostly or aquatic.

SS Fred Fisher is first, followed a few floats later by an SES version, but both surely are in the race for parade honours.

As darkness falls, wildlife advocate Ricardo Lonza appears alongside a koala float.

I ask him and his young helpers to smile for the camera and they oblige – it’s that sort of a parade.

It only lasts an hour or so but there’s no doubt in my mind the parade is what brings it all together for a festival named after an alleged ghost.

More people will go through the gates for the carnival, but the parade brings our old main street to life and showcases all that is great about our neck of the woods.

  1. There’s more festival fun next weekend with the Street Fair on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

Browse and shop at the stalls lining Queen Street that sell tasty food, showbags, handmade jewellery, home and lifestyle products, fashion and lots more.

If shopping isn’t your thing, Mawson Park will be transformed into a fun zone for families, with plenty of fun and free events for children including a comfy lawn kids concert, mad scientist workshop, mini golf, bouncy inflatables, and interactive activities on offer from Wests Tigers, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Cricket NSW.

The carnival will also continue at Bradbury Oval this weekend offering adrenalin-pumping, stomach-churning rides, as well as sideshow alley, showbags and plenty of yummy carnival-style food.

It will finish with a bang on Saturday night with a spectacular fireworks display at 9pm.

Finally, Fisher’s Ghost Fun Run is scheduled for Sunday, November 11 in the Campbelltown campus of Western Sydney University.





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