Chrissie Swan and Jimmy Giggle crowned monarchs of Moomba
By Jayden Forster
ENTERTAINERS Jimmy Giggle and Chrissie Swan have been named as the new king and queen of Moomba.
The ABC Kids host and the Nova radio personality have vowed to bring a touch of fun and excitement to this year’s festival, which runs for four days over the Labour Day weekend in March.
Giggle and Swan were unveiled as the monarchs of Moomba on Monday at a media event at Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens featuring a performance from an Indian drumming group and teenage Australian Dancesport champions Sam Brown and Berkley Wood.
Giggle, one half of the ABC’s Giggle and Hoot, said he was surprised to receive the prestigious honour.
“It’s something I never expected to happen,” he said, adding that he plans to bring his two-year-old son along to the festival.
“Hopefully he’ll be well enough to come down, but who knows what will happen with a three-year-old, it could all go pear-shaped.
He added: “I grew up in Melbourne and spent most of my time here, but Giggle and Hoot’s in Sydney now, but we’re hoping to get the whole family down for the festival.”
Swan said she was excited to join an exclusive group of legends – past monarchs include Cathy Freeman, Marina Prior, Kate Ceberano and Natalie Bassingthwaighte – to receive the crown and said she was looking forward to the traditional Birdman Rally.
“I do love the Birdman Rally and I do know there was time there when we were all like ‘we should get of the Birdman Rally’ but everyone’s seen sense and can now see the genius that it is.
“It’s a big part of Moomba and it’s all free […] so what’s not to love,” she said.
The banks of the Yarra River will come alive next month with a jam-packed program of free events for the whole family.
In its 64th year, Moomba is Australia’s biggest community festival and home to water sports and a host of multicultural events that culminate in the famous Moomba Parade on March 12 on a new route on Birdwood Avenue and through Kings Domain.
This year, there will also be a Dance Zone showcasing performances and workshops for the whole family, as well as a Dreaming Space hosting magic shows, circus acts and pantomime performances.
There will also be a Kids Yoga space offering free yoga sessions dedicated to building young healthy minds.
Acting Lord Mayor of Melbourne Arron Wood said he expected the annual festival to attract more than one million visitors to the Melbourne CBD.
“Last year, Australia’s largest community festival drew crowds of 1.3 million into the city and generated an economic impact of $29 million,” he said. “We hope to welcome even more families this year.”
Listen to Entertainment Reporter Jayden Forster’s chat with Chrissie Swan and Jimmy Giggle.