‘We went full colour’: Bellydancers stand out from crowd at Ironfest

DAZZLING: Elizabeth Graham, Karen Carney, Nicole Kennedy, Sharon Brown and Amrita Dhital from Orange Tribal Fusion Bellydance stood out at Ironfest in Lithgow. Photo: MARK RAYNER
DAZZLING: Elizabeth Graham, Karen Carney, Nicole Kennedy, Sharon Brown and Amrita Dhital from Orange Tribal Fusion Bellydance stood out at Ironfest in Lithgow. Photo: MARK RAYNER

Among the medieval knights and steampunk cowboys at Ironfest in Lithgow on Sunday, five ladies from Orange stood out in their bright and sparkling costumes.

The women from Orange Tribal Fusion Bellydance are regulars at the popular festival and this year they decided to go all out with their choice of fashion.

“This year we went full colour. The wild west theme [for 2018] is sort of dark so we thought we would come out and sparkle,” Nicole Kennedy said.

“Our costumes are put together from different parts of the world. The skirt I have on is from Afghanistan, some of the outfits are from India and some we’ve bought and sewn and built on ourselves so it’s quite an eclectic mix from multiple countries.”

“We love our jewelry, rings and bangles from around the world and we are always looking to expand on it. If you think you have enough jewelry on, you add a little bit more.”

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The ladies were eager to check out all the action around the festival but also put on some of their own impromptu dancing displays.

“We love Ironfest and we come here every year. We change our costumes every time, they are constantly evolving,” Ms Kennedy said.

This year was the 19th edition of Ironfest and organisers were delighted with the record crowds that turned out.

More than 20,000 people walked through the gates over the two days, while there was also an increase in the number of stalls and events.

“The show itself was way bigger than what we were expecting,” Ironfest festival director Macgregor Ross said. 

“The showground was at capacity as far as space goes, and all the participants were super keen. There was about 40 more stalls and so many more events.

“It’s just word of mouth. We had a lot of new people come. We want to keep building a bigger, more quality event.” 

Attendees embraced the wild west theme, with plenty of cowboys joining the knights, peasants and steampunkers who had got dressed up.

Organisers have already begun planning for the 20th anniversary celebrations, announcing the theme will be ‘Once upon a time’.

“It’s our 20th anniversary, so we thought let’s start telling that story,” Mr Ross said.

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