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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14774


Mrs McNAMARA (Dobell) (09:45): The Central Coast was brought to life at The Entrance last weekend with the 63rd annual Tuggerah Lakes Mardi Gras Carnival, formerly known as The Entrance Mardi Gras. The colourful, bright and fun filled weekend was packed full of entertainment for all of the family. The traditional Mardi Gras parade did not disappoint, with over 50 floats making their way through The Entrance while crowds gathered along the footpaths to cheer and wave. The floats were outstanding and included circus people, fire blazers, dancers, four brass bands, OzTrikes, Segways, motorbikes, the Marching Koalas, traditional Bara Barang Aboriginals, surf lifesaving, the Fun Engin and many more. Of course, Santa Claus was riding in the parade too.

The Entrance is home to the famous historic carousel and has been a favourite of young and old since 1930. Owned and operated by Hannah Haas, the carousel was a huge hit during the Mardi Gras celebrations. The Entrance is well known for carnival rides and games during school holidays and festivals and, for the first time, the Avenger ride was also included. Gotham Coffee did an amazing job showcasing the ride, with staff dressing up as Avengers, Gotham characters and other superheroes and villains from Batman and the Joker to Captain America and Hit-Girl. All the characters were hugely popular with the kids and lots of photos were taken with their favourite hero. There was face painting, plaster painting, plenty of food stalls and carnival rides. There were zorb balls, giant bubbles to climb into and float and roll around on the water. There was an obstacle course for kids and self-defence demonstrations. Everywhere you turned, there were activities and entertainment and it brought an electric atmosphere to The Entrance.

Not to be missed were the main stage acts, which kept everyone entertained, including: the Brisbane Water Brass Band; the Central Coast Music Association; Rockgod Music School Singers; Big Obsession, a 17-piece big band; local dancers; and Philipino dancers. Of course one of the most anticipated attractions for families was the arrival of Santa Claus and the Christmas carols in Memorial Park, which concluded with a brilliant fireworks display.

The Lakes Festival incorporated executive committee and subcommittee truly did an amazing job in bringing it all together. President Angelika Koop led a dedicated team of volunteers. Thank you to Hans and Janet Schryver, Mark Tansley, Michael Ahchee, Chris and Kate Wallace, Glenn Clarke and everyone who gave many hours of their time, as well as the event sponsors for their contribution to the success of this important and special tradition.

The Tuggerah Lakes Mardi Gras Carnival was once again a highlight in Dobell and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who ventured to The Entrance over the weekend.