Australia's favourite bridge is turning 90 and the little town of Moruya is playing a huge part in the birthday celebrations.
Moruya has a strong connection with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the granite blocks that form the pylons of the iconic bridge were sourced from the Moruya Quarry located beside the Moruya River on North Head Drive.
To celebrate the bridge's 90th birthday, Moruya is set to wind back the clock to the 1960s, 70s and 80s, to revive the marvels and mayhem of the famous Moruya Mardi Gras, a colourful street parade complete with floats, marching bands, clowns and loads of frivolity.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge opened on 19 March 1932 and Moruya Celebrates Sydney Harbour Bridge 90 Years event coordinator Gary Traynor says the town will put on a show to remember on Saturday 19 March, with a huge daytime street parade followed by music, river lights and fireworks in the evening.
Mr Traynor said, sadly, the festival is likely to be the last major anniversary involving people with a living memory of the 1932 bridge opening but community interest has been strong, with many current and former residents contributing to the memories of events past and planning this year's festivities.
Following a tough two years for the district with bushfires, floods and COVID lockdowns impacting families, local businesses and tourism, it is hoped the celebration will bring a smile to many and create memories that will last a lifetime.
“Our businesses have suffered and restrictions have caused both psychological and emotional distress,” Mr Traynor said.
“The volunteer organisers strongly believe this event will be the much-needed boost the Eurobodalla needs.”
He said the Mardi Gras style street parade would be the biggest party that Moruya has thrown in decades, complete with a dramatic re-enactment of the events of the day of the opening of the bridge in 1932.
“The Eurobodalla will be putting it all out there, from the machinery which powered rural Australia at the turn of the century, to vintage motor vehicles impeccably restored and presented, as well as bands and floats.
“A wide range of community groups and local businesses will all be on show in the biggest street parade in rural NSW since the 1980s.”
Mr Traynor says speakers will be set up outdoors for the crowds to hear introductions for each float and expects the parade to take more than 30 minutes to travel through town.
The Moruya Country Markets food stalls will remain onsite for the event.
The fun and festivity will continue including a vintage car show and shine, games and activities for the kids, skydivers dropping in and festival-goers will be buzzed by the local seaplane.
There will be live music in the park from 3pm through to nightfall when the river lights will appear on the water followed by fireworks for all the family.
Above: John and Michel Nader in a parade in the 1960s
River lights on the Moruya River
Bullocks on Vulcan Street
Collage of Moruya Mardi Gras photos in the 1960's and 1970s
Photo credits: Moruya and district historical society