Big birthday celebrations coming to Moomba Festival 2020

A special float appearing in the Moomba Parade

Be sure to mark your calendar for the Labour Day long weekend (March 6th – 9th)!

It’s when Moomba Festival comes to town, and it’s not to be missed. Proudly presented by the City of Melbourne, the Moomba Festival showcases a free, fun-loving and family-friendly program of events and activities along the banks of the Yarra. 

If you’re attending the Moomba Parade on the Monday public holiday, look out for something extra special this year, the Rainbow Island Float!

Children’s art therapy designs taking centre stage

What better way to celebrate your 150th birthday than at the Moomba Festival? This year The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) will be doing just that, with a spectacular Rainbow Island Float at the iconic Moomba Parade.

What makes this so special is that the vibrant design comes from children in the oncology ward who have been participating in the RCH Art Therapy Program, one of the programs funded by the Foundation. 

RCH Art Therapists Tilly Dawson and Alexandra Lederman were closely involved with the Moomba Festival float submissions, where the children had full creative licence to come up with designs. The only cues for inspiration offered to the children were looking at previous the year’s floats, and encouragement to get creative by including dance and music for their visual creations if they wished to.

Children’s submissions for the Moomba Parade float

Approximately twenty children currently in treatment at the hospital got involved in the project initially, with many inspired, final designs collected by Tilly and Alex.

Proven multiple benefits of art therapy for cancer patients

Studies have shown that creating art stimulates the release of dopamine – the feel-good chemical our brain releases when doing something we enjoy. Increased levels of this happy neurotransmitter are helpful during times of illness, anxiety and stress. 

You can learn more about our Brighten Their Days Projects we fund, including Art and Music Therapy and The Beaded Journey.

Our Patron Gillon McLachlan, Chief Executive Officer, AFL, also talks to the impact of this program.

Get your Moomba Festival on

The Parade starts at 10.45 am on Monday 9 March. The route begins at Birdwood Avenue, weaving through the picturesque Kings Domain parkland before finishing up on Linlithgow Avenue near Queen Victoria Gardens. Be sure to take a look at the full fantastic weekend program on offer too! 

We hope to see you there!

Photo credits: City of Melbourne


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