Transforming the city centre of Wagga Wagga in regional southern NSW into an immersive space of light, art, food and music, Festival of W (FoW) is shaping up to be a glowing event not to miss this winter.

Across 16 days, from Saturday 6 to Sunday 21 July (perfect timing for school holidays), the festival program features everything from winter food offerings, ice skating, live music and immersive light-art experiences from local, national and international artists, performers and businesses.

Returning brighter than ever, a free large-scale, light and sound experience, Lightvision will be a focal point of the festival, illuminating the Wollundry Lagoon precinct, thanks to Australia’s multi-disciplinary design and production experts, Mandylights.

The stunning land and water light installations will be made up of large-scale floating water lilies, a field of several hundred technicolour pixel pebbles, a stunning 48-metre tunnel of light featuring 100,000 individual golden buds, and a mesmerising field of LED battens – all synchronised to music.

“Our creative crew have been working up new and exciting immersive concepts to light up Wiradjuri Country in Wagga Wagga again for Festival of W 2024,” says CEO and Founder of Mandylights, Richard Neville.

“We’re always so thrilled to work in regional areas to create unique experiences, inspired by the region. Wagga Wagga embraced the experience last year and we’re hoping for an equal, or better, wow-factor this year,” he says.

There will also be a special pop-up activation from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July featuring UV spaghetti – an eight-metre-long canopy of tactile light strands that festival-goers can weave through, along with a kaleidoscope of colourful First Nations art projections that will light up the festival precinct, plus additional displays inviting playful opportunities.

For foodies, the House of FoW dining hub at the Victory Memorial Gardens will be the place to go for delicious winter foods and drinks including loaded potatoes, slow-cooked beef tacos, steak sambos, fried chicken burgers, warm Nutella donuts, and regional alcoholic beverages – including warming spiced mulled wine. As well as live music and fire buckets with seating areas around.

“We’re pleased to present House of FoW, the festival dining hub, which this year is run by local culinary specialist Jamie Shepley and his team behind Mr Lawrence foodery, and is a great way to showcase the wonderful produce and producers we have in our Wagga Wagga region,” says Wagga Wagga City Council’s Events Officer, Emma Corbett.

“Festival of W has something for everyone, and last year 120,000 festival folk enjoyed what was on offer. We’re encouraging all residents and visitors to our Wagga Wagga and surrounds region to move into winter and experience the festival this year.”

The light activations will commence each evening from 5pm to 10pm. Discover all of this less than a three hours drive from Canberra – a great day trip or weekend winter escape.

For the full festival lineup, ice skating tickets, where to stay and to plan your visit to Wagga Wagga, head to Visit Wagga Wagga’s website.