Piers Festival

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by Max
Publish date
3 February 2012
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On the afternoon of Saturday 28 January, I made my way down to Port Melbourne for the Piers Festival, a celebration of migration at Station and Princes Piers. The Immigration Museum had a display at Station Pier about – you guessed it – Station Pier!

Immigration Museum’s ‘Station Pier’ exhibition Immigration Museum’s ‘Station Pier’ exhibition at Station Pier.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Even though the festival was to celebrate both piers, it was really about launching the newly opened Princes Pier after its recent $34 million renovation. The poor dear had ended up in a terrible state after years of neglect. The renovation included restoration of the gatehouse, plus installation of a rotunda with touch screens showing the history of the pier, large raised deck platforms, an area of artificial turf, a generous amount of seating, and public binoculars for viewing ships at sea. Last but not least, the first 196 metres of decking were replaced with a concrete slab, for which the entire gatehouse had to be lifted in order for it to be poured – no mean feat.

Princes Pier Children playing at Princes Pier
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

In the gatehouse was an exhibition of historical photographs from Princes Pier – soldiers off to war, local boys on bikes, and migrants arriving after the war.

Ottoman Mehter Marching Band. Ottoman Mehter Marching Band.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The festival was put on by Multicultural Arts Victoria and the program included a wide variety of performers and musicians, starting with the Victorian Police Pipe Band and finishing with the Melbourne Ska Orchestra. The most arresting costumes were of the Ottoman Mehter Marching Band. Poor guys, it was about 35 degrees in the shade, never mind under their hats!

Enterprize crew The crew of the Enterprize showing off their Jigging and Reeling skills.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Ska Orchestra Ska Orchestra
Image: Max Strating
Source: Melbourne Museum
 

Mexican heads One of the many stalls selling tasty treats and colourful crafts.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 
 
The evening ended with a generous fireworks display. Can’t wait for next year’s festival!

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Lucy 3 February, 2012 19:06
My grandfather used to sell newspapers on Princes pier during the war. It is wonderful to finally be able to stand on the same pier, some 70 years after.
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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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