Much-loved weather forecaster and meteorologist Jane Bunn and soccer legend Archie Thompson have been crowned this year’s Moomba Monarchs today by City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp.
”I’m thrilled to announce Jane and Archie as this year’s reigning Moomba Monarchs,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Moomba celebrates Melbourne culture, especially the city’s abundant entertainment and sporting credentials, making Jane and Archie the perfect fit to be wearing the coveted crowns.
“The Moomba weekend is a key calendar event for Melburnians. Last year, the free community festival drew crowds of 1.3 million into the city and generated an economic impact of more than $32 million. With an exciting and jam-packed program of free events all weekend long, we hope to welcome even more people back this year,” the Lord Mayor said.
Commenting on her title as Moomba Monarch, Jane Bunn said, “I’m absolutely over the moon to be crowned this year’s Moomba Queen. Having visited the festival as a child and over the years having broadcast live from the event providing Melburnians with the Moomba weather forecast, it’s a surreal feeling and an absolute honour to be crowned Monarch.”
Archie Thompson added, “I’m feeling like a kid in a candy store after being crowned this year’s Moomba King!
“Melbourne is such a vibrant and amazing city to live in with so many incredible events but in my opinion there’s nothing quite as iconic as Moomba Festival. It can’t come quickly enough!”
The Lord Mayor announced that after nearly a decade the festival will be unveiling a brand new Monarch Float. The float will feature an ornate and elaborate castle, drawing inspiration from one of Melbourne’s most iconic pieces of architecture – the Manchester Unity Building.
Unveiling the 2019 Moomba program, the Lord Mayor said a festival favourite, Box Wars, will be back with a brand new Space-theme. “This year’s Box Wars will see kids become an astronaut for the day where they will be able to build their very own space-themed costumes entirely out of recycled cardboard,” the Lord Mayor said.
The Moomba Dance Zone is set to nearly double in size, offering all-ages dance performances and workshops from more than 30 styles of dance including salsa, afro-Brazilian, flamenco, hip hop and more.
To add to Moomba’s already impressive sports program, the NBL 3x3Hustle is bringing a pop-up basketball half court to the site, hosting professional competitions, athlete signings and interactive basketball clinics. On the river, the Moomba Masters water sports program will see world-class athletes from 19 countries compete over the Moomba Long Weekend. In 2019 athletes with a disability will be incorporated into the program, with impressive demonstrations from 2018 International Waterski Champion and double amputee Jason Sleep.
Universal and LEGO will be hosting free kids activities at Moomba all weekend long as well as meet-and-greets with popular characters from movies How to Train Your Dragon, Trolls, Jurassic World, Despicable Me and the yet-to-be-released THE LEGO MOVIE 2.
Owned and delivered by City of Melbourne, Moomba is Australia’s largest free community festival.
Moomba Festival 2019 Program Overview:
From 8 –11 March, the city will be bustling with a jam-packed program of free events for the whole family. From long-held traditions such as the Birdman Rally, Moomba Parade and the Carnival to world-class sporting events such as the Moomba Masters water sports competition and world-class skateboarding competitions, Moomba’s program has something for everyone.
Melburnians will be able to enjoy even more free daily activities than ever before, with nightly fireworks, live music performances, movies, cultural and interactive installations and workshops across the site.
The Birdman Rally on Sunday 10 March will be bigger and better this year with 18 competitors donning their most inventive flying contraptions and leaping into the Yarra in the name of charity. Last year’s Birdman Rally raised more than $100,000 for various causes and this year the challenge is set to beat that record.
Continuing with the new route announced in 2018, the famous Moomba Parade on Monday 11 March will showcase the magic of Melbourne. The parade will start at Birdwood Avenue (near the Shrine of Remembrance), venturing through the leafy Kings Domain parkland and finishing at Linlithgow Avenue, near Queen Victoria Gardens.
This unique display of Melbourne energy at the Moomba Parade will involve 45 Victorian community groups, community-designed floats, cultural performance troupes, professional and amateur dance groups, and school participants. The imaginations of six Melburnian children will be brought to life at the parade as their float designs are built by teams of professional artists, makers and artisans. The designs were selected from thousands of submissions drawn by children at last year’s Design A Float activity at Moomba. More than 2,000 people from across the city will participate in the iconic parade, as more than 80,000 spectators line the streets.