THE excitement could not be contained during the three-day Nati Frinj Biennale.
Festivities kicked off on Friday night with the festival favourite street parade.
Eccentric costumes were whipped out – a geisha, butterflies, video game characters and snails were just a few outstanding dress ups on the day.
There was no lack in creativity with stand out costumes scattered throughout the parade.
Onlookers discovered quickly that in the parade was were all the fun was happening and parade numbers began to grow.
It did not matter that people were without a costume because community spirit was what the street parade was all about.
Smiles and laughter rumbled down service road as participants walked and skipped over the finish line to start the weekend of amazing festivities.
Festival director Kate Finnerty said the street parade was always a firm favourite to begin all the weekend’s festivities.
She said the parade was a great community event where the town comes together bursting with enthusiasm and creativity.
“Watching the parade always makes me cry because I’m so happy to see the community come together and have a great time,” she said.
Ms Finnerty said each year the festival grows even more popular.
Ms Finnerty said the atmosphere was electric.
She said perfect weather all weekend had people out in the streets finding new and exciting activities to do each day.
“People were roaming the streets and socialising with each other. You could not find one person without a smile on their face,” she said.
The smiles were so common that the festival’s two roving performers, the Lollipop Ladies, were handing out infringements for dangerous smiling.
While the many scheduled theatre shows were popular, Ms Finnerty said the “accidental mingling” was well received.
She said she wanted to take the festival into the streets where people could stumble upon an unexpected performance.
“I think I preferred it this way – where you never know what you would find throughout the day,” she said.
There was plenty of excitement surrounding Dusk and Ms Finnerty said the performers did not let people down.
“The aerial performances were choreographed before hand, but how they would introduce different aspects of the festival changed for each performance,” she said.
“When the silent disco happened during the day, the performance at Dusk would have the dancers come on stage and dance with their headphones on.”
Ms Finnerty said the great Natimuk clothes swap was a massive success. She said festival-goers left with an eccentric new outfit.
The three-day festival was jam-packed with spectacular performances, workshops, music and markets.
Despite all the entertaining festivities for participants to watch in awe, it was the community spirit that was the highlight at the Nati Frinj Biennale.
Many festival-goers stayed spontaneous throughout the weekend – focusing on good times with family and friends rather than what show they should see next.
The vibes complemented the vision for this year’s Nati Frinj where it was less about the schedule and more about what can you find around the corner.
A Nati Frinj regular, Therese Humphrys from Natimuk, said the highlight of the festival was not what you see, but who you spend the weekend with.
“The reason why I come back to the frinj every year is because it is the most fun, quirky, friendly and inspiring festival ever,” she said.
It was the first year Mrs Humphrys spent the festival with her daughter, Heidi Humphrys.
She said the street parade was one of her favourite parts about the festival.
This year Mrs Humphrys was a part of a group costume where seven people dressed up as the rainbow.
“I loved the parade so much and it was so much fun to do it as a group. I was the red colour of the rainbow and my daughter was our rainbow child,” she said.
Dusk was a stand out performance for Mrs Humphreys.
She said she had purchased tickets for every night of the Nati Frinj.
“I have heard it was going to be amazing and I was curious to see how the performance would come together,” she said.
Lani Jones from Natimuk said she performed at the Nati Frinj with the group Possible Not. Being a part of the entertainment was a highlight for Lani.
She said performing for her friends was great.
“We showed people things that they would think aren’t possible, but we proved them wrong and made it happen,” she said.
Lani said she enjoyed painting the snails for the inaugural Wimmera snail race.
A new resident in Natimuk, Alan Obst said he was most excited to see the community gather in streets for a weekend of fun.
Mr Obst said the highlight of the festival was the variety of performances and music on offer.
He said the event was very inclusive and there were activities for every person.
“This is an interesting event and it is a great chance for the community to come together as one, let their hair down and interact with each other,” he said.