Wintersun in Coffs Harbour

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Wintersun is Australia’s longest running retro nostalgia festival, and this year celebrates its 25th birthday in Coffs Harbour. We find out more from festival director, Barry McNamara.



2012 highlights include our Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, with our winner being flown to Memphis, Gracelands to compete for the World Title.

2012 will see a 1950s Cake Bake Competition, ‘50s fashion parades and renewal of vows ceremony conducted by an Elvis marriage celebrant, as well as car cruises and five days of free entertainment in the jetty area.

Festival favourites like The Wintersun Street Parade of floats, Cavalcade of Stars, bands and fun allows all viewers to enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere and sights of the cars. More than sixty bands combine to provide live entertainment, which sets the backdrop to the festival, evoking the inner Rock ‘n’ Roller in even the unsuspecting patron.

International performers include The Rat Pack direct from Las Vegas, performing two shows exclusively for Wintersun. Tribute band, Phil Haley & His Comments from England, will be joined by Bill Haley’s youngest daughter Gina, while Rockabilly bands from Portugal and America will join a fantastic line up of Australian and NZ performers.

Shopping is a treat, with all the usual arts and crafts markets plus stalls specialising in nostalgia products.

Hundreds of pre 1974 Hot Rod, Classic and Custom cars will be on display.

By turning back the clock, Wintersun provides a community event for all. Many of the events are free, providing an opportunity for people to partake in all activities or enjoy the atmosphere and soak up the scene.

The Wintersun Festival is always thriving to improve on the previous year’s event, and Wintersun is again shaping up as a must see event. Wintersun 2012 starts on Friday 1 June and ends with the best of Wintersun Concert on Monday 11 June.

The Wintersun Festival Committee selected Coffs Harbour as the ideal town to host the 25th celebrations; the committee felt that Coffs offered a great range of accommodation, excellent venues and a great range of other holiday experiences. The enthusiasm of club and venue managers, the business community and some very passionate Rock ‘n’ Rollers made the choice easy. Coffs Council has worked hard with festival organisers to make us feel welcome and provide positive help in staging the event.

The Wintersun Festival is a non-profit incorporated association. Wintersun 2012 is proudly supported by the NSW Government, through Destination NSW.

To find out more on Wintersun 2012, log onto

This story was published in issue 21 Coffs Coast Focus

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