Council hard at work on Illuminate Wollondilly 2019

Festival of light: Illuminate is one of the most popular events held in Wollondilly each year. Picture: Chris Lane
Festival of light: Illuminate is one of the most popular events held in Wollondilly each year. Picture: Chris Lane

Illuminate Wollondilly is almost upon us and Wollondilly Council staff are hard working hard to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

The massive event - which features spectacular light displays and projects on Argyle Street's most recognisable buildings - has attracted thousands of people to Picton every year since its 2015 inception.

Event coordinator Rob Moran - the council's Community Projects and Events team leader - starts planning each Illuminate just a few weeks after the completion of the previous iteration.

"We're a relatively small team that work on this, it's just myself, two part-timers and a trainee," he said.

"We give ourselves a couple of weeks of breathing room at the end of one event before we jump into planning for the next one. We really listen to community feedback about what worked well and what didn't when we start to figure out how the next event will turn out."

This year's Illuminate will be held on Saturday, May 18 - the same day as the federal election.

However, Mr Moran said this would have no effect on the running of the festival.

"The polling stations have been moved to Picton Public School, which was a great decision," he said.

"We're actually hoping that the election will encourage more people to come into Picton for Illuminate.

"I know there are still lots of people out there who haven't come to the event before and there really is something for everyone, so this is a great opportunity to give it a go."

Mr Moran said the organising team learned a lot with each successful year - especially in their negotiation skills.

"That's something that we've definitely improved on," he said. "We've become more skilled at negotiating prices for acts and equipment.

"We try to get city quality, but we can't afford city prices - so we have to negotiate down. We're different from VIVID in Sydney, because they go after international acts and artists, whereas we only use Wollondilly artists."

Mr Moran encouraged everyone to head down and enjoy the fantastic light show this year.

In addition to exciting new attractions like LED stilt walkers, a silent disco, neon putt putt and more, the ever-popular portrait projections onto the large Picton street trees will have a lovely twist this year.

"Portraits of some of our senior citizens will be projected onto the trees," Mr Moran said.

"Their friends and family will get a kick out of that."

Illuminate Wollondilly runs from noon-9pm in the Picton CBD and is completely free. Full details can be found at illuminatewollondilly.com.au.